Liverpool welcomes new bishop

 The Rt Rev Thomas Williams was ordained bishop at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, today. During the service he promised to "carry the mantle with dignity, a sense of humour and as who I am." The new Catholic bishop admitted: "I was dreading today, but I should not have worried because I now realise I am among friends. It is nice to see so many good friends. "I will need your support and I promise my continued commitment and support." To loud laughter from the 2,000-strong congregation, Bishop Williams quipped that when he went he went to see the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pablo Puente, to receive his "good news" he had thought, "I would rather be pregnant." He added he had always tried to be a good priest and had "met and been taught by a lot of good priests." "When the apostles met to choose Mathias, they cast lots," he said. "Today I feel the lot has fallen on me... I will carry the mantle with dignity, a sense of humour and as who I am." Bishop Williams was ordained as the new Auxiliary to the Archbishop of Liverpool, with the titular diocese of Mageo, (Mayo) at a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. The Rite of Ordination was led by the Most Rev Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool, assisted by Bishop Vincent Malone, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, and Bishop Augustine Harris, Bishop Emeritus of Middlesbrough. The congregation included many of Bishop Williams's parishioners of St Anthony's Church, Scotland Road, and Our Lady Immaculate Church, Everton, where he had been parish priest. He was ordained Bishop on the 31st anniversary of his ordination as a priest in the same cathedral. A mandate from The Pope was read in which the Holy Father welcomed Bishop Williams to his new role, by declaring: "We know you have the qualities to fulfil its duties." Archbishop Kelly, in his homily, also warmly addressed the new bishop: "Tom, you will be overwhelmed by the massive goodness, generosity, patient endurance and holiness all around you in people and priests. You will receive new reasons every day to say: we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise." Archbishop Kelly concluded: "Tom, for your greater joy, for our deeper peace, to the glory and honour of the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, welcome his Son's word to you today: 'Peace be with you: go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news'. But I'd like you start in Scotland Road!" And Archbishop Kelly referred to Bishop Williams's love of Everton Football Club when he said: "Especially as Bishops, we shall not allow the false accusers of the brethren to make us downcast, burdened and gloomy. . .Indeed, eyes shall shine with zest for life as if, well, the Blues always won." Clergy present included Ambrose Griffiths, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Arthur Roche, Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds, Bishop Hugh Lindsay, Bishop Emeritus of Hexham and Newcastle, and Bernard Longley and Alan Hopes, Auxiliary Bishops of Westminster. Source: Catholic Communications Service

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