Our bishop had returned from Rome and the Vatican just days before our gathering. It was a treat for us to hear of our Bishop’s time there. The seminar’s busy schedule consisted of six lectures per day. These covered the various aspects of a bishop’s vocation: religious life, finances, relationship with the Vatican, and evangelisation, to name just a few topics.
The Bishop shared the experiences of his fellow bishops from Africa, Asia, America, and Oceania. He shared sobering tales of kidnapping and poverty, reports of the effects of Covid-19 on international communities, and a joyful story of a bishop who had the privilege of celebrating the confirmation of 600 young people.
We heard of the beauty and grandeur of the Pontifical College of St Paul the Apostle, celebrating Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, and experiencing Rome’s summer heat. Everyone remained captivated as our bishop shared a highlight of his life, his audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.
A light lunch followed, offering a chance to meet with old friends and make new ones.
As Trish Fitzgerald mused, “What a great joy to have the bishop celebrate the Mass with us all and see lots of friends again.”
First-time Golden Catholic Jo-Ann O’Loughlin agreed, “I am so pleased I went… a beautiful Mass and very interesting talk by the bishop…not to mention a delicious lunch.”
Golden Catholics Prayer for Bishop Michael
Eternal God, our Shepherd and Guide
We bless and thank you for the appointment of your servant, Michael Gielen,
as the 11th Bishop of Christchurch.
May your Holy Spirit grant him with gifts of wisdom and strength, gentleness, and compassion as he leads our diocese.
May he be a shepherd after your own heart, who will walk in your ways and, with loving care, watch over your people.
As ‘Golden Catholics,’ may we welcome him joyfully into our Diocesan community, now entrusted to his care and leadership.
May we, as the ‘older’ Body of Christ in the Christchurch Diocese,
through our prayer and support, together bear witness to Christ and the building up of your kingdom.
We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen,
St John the Baptist, pray for us.
Golden Catholics come together several times a year to share fellowship and food while hearing from speakers from around the diocese, whose insight is deemed of value. The Golden Catholics team remains very thankful to the diocese for helping coordinate these events. To attend the 2023 events or find out about setting up a group in your area of the diocese, please call Cathedral House at 0800 403 863 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org