Author: Kathy Horan
Many years ago now, our very own Fr Denis Edwards wrote a book entitled Called to be Church in Australia, describing an approach that could bring about a renewal of life and faith in our local churches. In this book, he suggested that as an Australian Church we need to learn from and approach Aboriginal experience of the land as ‘apprentices in faith’
In doing this, he acknowledges that for the Indigenous Peoples of our land, the Spirit has been present, creative and hovering over all of creation in our land for many thousands of years, and that the Aboriginal peoples have always cherished and reflected on their relationship with the land and this creative spirit through their Dreaming stories and their relationships with one another.
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr is an Aboriginal Elder and wisdom figure who lives in the top end of the Northern Territory. She speaks about what she sees as a gift that she would like to share with all Australians. This gift is called ‘Dadirri’ and it means a deep listening: to creation, to one another, to the Dreaming or sacred family stories, to the needs of others, to the traumas and difficulties experienced over many years by Aboriginal Peoples, to the cries for justice and for finding a voice.
Author: Dr Jenny O'Brien
So how does an Archbishop differ from a Bishop? Basically, it is because he heads a ‘team’ of bishops in a particular geographical area or province. In our case, Adelaide, Port Pirie and Darwin form such a province. Because Adelaide is the chief diocese, the bishop of this diocese is given the title ‘Metropolitan Archbishop’ and Bishops O’Kelly (Port Pirie Diocese) and Gauci (Darwin Diocese) are known as ‘suffragan bishops’ (while still retaining full authority in their respective dioceses.)
In the Catholic Church there are three ‘levels’ of ordination within the sacrament of Holy Orders: deacon, priest and bishop. The Second Vatican Council spoke of the bishop as having ‘the fullness of the sacrament of Orders’ and dedicated an entire decree to the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church.
So, as we welcome our new Archbishop, Patrick O’Regan, into the Archdiocese of Adelaide we might be wondering exactly what a bishop is, and how an archbishop differs from an ‘ordinary’ bishop.
The primary role of any bishop is to ensure that the work of Christ is carried on at the local level by caring for all the faithful entrusted to him in his particular diocese. Often the bishop is referred to as the Chief Shepherd, since his ministry is modelled on that of Christ, the Good Shepherd. Immediately we can see that the role of the bishop is not simply that of ‘governing’ a local Church, but of caring for it and nurturing it and enabling it to grow and flourish. The role of the bishop is that of guardian, teacher and preacher.