A CROWD of about 1600 witnessed the ordination of the ninth Catholic Bishop of Sale, Pat O’Regan, on Thursday in the Bishop Phelan Stadium at Catholic College Sale.
There was a strong attendance of parishioners from Bathurst where Bishop O’Regan was previously vicar-general and Dean of the Cathedral.
Principal celebrant was Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart and co-consecrators were the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse, who is the previous Bishop of Sale, and Bishop of Bathurst Michael McKenna, formerly a priest of Sale Diocese.
Thirty bishops and archbishops and more than 100 priests from around Australia attended.
A 160-voice choir drawn from colleges and parishes around the diocese led the worship.
There was loud applause from all gathered when the Papal Bull appointing Bishop O’Regan was raised to the congregation.
After the formal questioning by Archbishop Hart, Bishop O’Regan lay prostrate on the red carpet before the altar.
The consecration of the bishop took place with laying on of hands of all gathered bishops and archbishops who in turn placed their hands on his head.
The open Book of Gospels was held over his head while Archbishop Hart read the prayer of ordination.
Following the anointing of Bishop O’Regan’s head with the oil of chrism and presentation of the Book of Gospels, the bishop then received his ring of office, his zucchetto and mitre and his bishop’s crozier, before being led to the cathedra, or bishop’s chair.
The newly-ordained bishop then received a fraternal kiss from each of the bishops and archbishops.
The Bishop’s siblings Stephen O’Regan, Laurie O’Regan and Louise Clyne, accompanied by his godparents Jill Clark and Peter Herbert, took the gifts to the altar for the Mass.
In the concluding rites after the Mass Bishop O’Regan walked around the stadium blessing the crowd and was formally welcomed.
More 1000 people walked to Sale Memorial Hall for lunch and light refreshments after the ordination.
When Bishop O’Regan arrived he spent more than an hour chatting with people and happily posed for photographs.