Date: Thursday 22 February 2018
Venue: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong (Corner of Harbour and Crown Streets)
Attendance: 4,500 (also streamed live globally - the link will be provided on this page closer to the date)
RSVP's have now closed and the ordination will be a full house.
The Catholic Diocese of Wollongong has announced that at 7pm on Thursday 22 February 2018, Bishop-elect Brian Mascord will be ordained as the fifth bishop of Wollongong at the WIN Entertainment Centre in the presence of up to 4,500 people including the papal nuncio in Australia, His Excellency Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana.
The diocesan organising committee—which includes clergy, staff and lay people such as the former general manager of the WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres, Mr Stuart Barnes—has been busily planning the event since Pope Francis announced Fr Brian as the Bishop-elect on 30 November 2017. Under Canon Law, the new bishop is required to be ordained within three months of the announcement.
The Diocese of Wollongong takes in the geographical areas of the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands. The ordination is expected to be celebrated by up to 30 Australian bishops, 100 clergy, parishioners and families from all the diocesan parishes and schools, staff and families from all diocesan agencies and affiliated organisations, leaders of other churches and faiths, civic leaders of government and business, and last but not least, bus-loads of Bishop-elect Brian’s family, friends, parishioners and community members from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle—where he currently resides. The ordination will also be streamed live globally.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP (Archbishop of Sydney) will be the principal consecrator, with the co-consecrators being Bishop Peter Ingham (Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wollongong) and Bishop William Wright (Bishop of Newcastle-Maitland).
It will be the first ordination of a bishop in the Diocese of Wollongong for some 22 years (Bishop Peter Ingham was already an auxiliary bishop when he was installed as the fourth bishop of Wollongong 16 years ago.) When asked about how the WIN Entertainment Centre will look on the evening, Stuart Barnes said, “The huge number of expected attendees means that it cannot be held at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Wollongong, which can only seat 550 people. So, if we can’t take the people to the Cathedral, we are going to take the Cathedral to the people! The stained glass windows and two large icons that form the backdrop of the Cathedral will be recreated as giant banners at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
“The music is also expected to be spectacular on the night. Our diocesan band will be accompanied by the St Mary Star of the Sea College orchestra and a 50-strong diocesan choir. It’s definitely going to be a night to remember."
For more information about the ordination, please download the Diocese's Frequently Asked Questions document.