Bishop William Kenney, CP, was welcomed as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, during Mass on Friday's feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Patron of the Diocese, at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. Archbishop Vincent Nichols and his other two auxiliaries, Bishop Philip Pargeter and Bishop David McGough, together with 10 visiting bishops and more than 100 priests concelebrated the Mass. Bishop Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden, a member of the Passionist Congregation, was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, by Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday 17 October. He has been appointed as Spokesman on European Affairs to the Bishop,s Conference of England and Wales. Among the visiting bishops who came from Europe were: Bishop Anders Arborelius, OCD, of Stockholm, Bishop George Muller of Trondheim, Norway, and Bishop Eero Huovinen, the Lutheran Bishop from Helsinki, Finland. Bishop Kenney, who grew up and was educated in the Archdiocese of Birmingham diocese, started work on Friday 1 December as Area Bishop for Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Coventry. The Ceremony of Welcome took place after the Gospel when the formal letter of appointment from the Holy See was read out by Mgr Joseph Marino, the First Counsellor to the Apostolic Nuncio. Turning to Bishop Kenney, at the start of his homily, the Archbishop of Birmingham said: "Bishop William: you are most welcome! Welcome back to Birmingham, welcome to this Archdiocese. Welcome to this Cathedral. You bring us great experience in many aspects of the life of the Church and we look forward to the many ways in which you can enrich our life. We welcome you during this season of Advent, which is a time of such promise and blessings; and on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, our patron. We are indeed blessed. "Yet, the blessings of God are always given for a definite purpose. Usually we are slow to see the precise purpose God has in mind for us. I think of your fellow Passionist, Blessed Dominic Barberi, who waited over 20 years for permission to come to England, and then worked patiently until, in such an unlikely manner, he was the one chosen to bring into the full communion of the Catholic Church the Venerable John Henry Newman. Exactly what lies in store we do not know." Archbishop Nichols emphasised: "The holiness of the people, which includes every priest and every fellow bishop, is your first concern. Only in our openness to the Lord, in the fashion of Mary herself, can we hope to fulfil the great mission we have been given." He added: "With us be a faithful disciple; for us be an energetic and fruitful minister of the Holy Spirit, of God's grace, in our lives." Source: Archdiocese of Birmingham
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