The British Province of the Society of Jesus has sent its prayerful good wishes to Fr Greg O'Kelly SJ, who is the first Jesuit from the Australia Province to become a bishop. The Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli, made the announcement of the appointment by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday. Greg O'Kelly entered the Society of Jesus in 1959, was ordained priest in 1972 and has served in leadership roles in Australian Jesuit schools for more than 30 years. He is currently Headmaster at St Ignatius' College in Adelaide. The Australian Provincial, Fr Mark Raper SJ, explained in a letter published on the Province website that although Jesuits promise not to be ambitious or generally to accept episcopal appointments in the Church, they also take a special vow of obedience 'to serve the need of the Church as indicated by the Holy Father'. He says that Greg prayed and thought a great deal about the Pope's decision to appoint him a bishop, since 'ordination to the episcopate is a sacrament and so cannot be imposed against one's will'. In view of his vow to the Holy Father, wrote Father Raper, 'Greg has given an assurance that he will commit himself to do his best in this new vocation. While this appointment is contrary to our culture and something for which we are indeed unprepared, we see that Greg is being called to offer a specific service to the Church in a time of need.' Father O'Kelly's ordination to the episcopacy is expected to be in late September in Adelaide. Source: Jesuit Communications Office
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