IT’S more than 89 years since the ordination of a Catholic bishop in Bathurst.
When Father Michael Joseph McKenna is ordained at St Stanislaus’ College today and installed as the eighth bishop of Bathurst, more than 1100 people are expected to witness the historic event.
In a moving tribute, All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral’s bells will ring out in a quarter peal for the first time in a century.
Anglican Bishop, Richard Hurford, said eight experienced members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bell Ringers will travel to Bathurst to peal the bells for about half an hour from 3pm.
“No one living has heard these bells pealed by the change ringing method,” Bishop Hurford said.
From 1906 until the previous tower was pulled down in 1970 the bells could only be chimed.
He said it is fitting that bells attached to an Anglican cathedral ring out to celebrate the ordination of a Catholic bishop.
“It’s a wonderful symbol of the place the Christian churches, with their various traditions, have in the hearts and lives of people in the Bathurst region,” Bishop Hurford said.
“In the Christian church the bishop is the gatherer and shepherd of the people and clergy of a geographical region.
“The ordination of a bishop is a significant landmark in the journey of the church, not just in Bathurst but the Central West,” he said.
Fr McKenna said the Anglican cathedral’s action is a sign of the great cooperation between the churches built up by his predecessor Bishop Dougherty.
“I do not think they could have managed a more beautiful and gracious way to welcome me to town,” Fr McKenna said.
Fr McKenna said Bishop Dougherty came to Bathurst a quarter of a century ago and everyone in the city would recognise a man of prayer and long service.