On the Feast of St Charles Borremeo, Monday 4 November 2019, the Diocese of Broken Bay officially welcomed their new shepherd, Bishop Anthony Randazzo as the fourth Bishop of Broken Bay in a beautiful Liturgical Reception and Solemn Mass of Installation at The Light of Christ Centre, Waitara.
Close to 1200 people were in attendance, including 27 bishops from across Australia and more than 120 priests and deacons.
The evening began at 5.00pm at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral for the official Liturgical Reception and Evening Prayer, attended by Bishop Anthony, the clergy of the diocese and visiting bishops. Bishop Anthony was greeted at the Cathedral door by the Dean of the Cathedral Fr Peter De Souza, before professing his faith and oath of fidelity to the Apostolic Nuncio.
The Solemn Mass of Installation began at 7.00pm in The Light of Christ Centre, allowing more people to attend the very special occasion than the Cathedral would allow.
As part of the Rite of Installation, the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, read out the Papal Bull in Latin and then in English. The Bull was then presented to the College of Consultors and given to the Chancellor of Broken Bay, Mrs Jo Robertson. Archbishop Peter Comensoli, the third Bishop of Broken Bay, presented the crozier belonging to the first Bishop of Broken Bay, Patrick Murphy to Bishop Anthony. Archbishop Yllana and Archbishop Anthony Fisher then escorted Bishop Anthony Randazzo to his Cathedra, taking his place as the Bishop of Broken Bay.
Representatives from across the Diocese of Broken Bay were then introduced to Bishop Anthony, including families, the Catholic Women’s League, schools, clergy, and migrant communities.
The choir and musicians, led by Simon Hyland, created an amazing, holy and beautiful atmosphere in The Light of Christ Centre. The projection of the stained glass from Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral at the back of the sanctuary helped Mass attendees forget they were in a school hall. The Mass was a wonderful, joyful experience for the whole Diocesan community in Broken Bay.
In his thanks at the end of Mass, Bishop Anthony made special mention of the two previous Bishops of Broken Bay, Most Rev David Walker and Most Rev Peter Comensoli, or as they are now known as BB2 and BB3! “It is so great to have you with us,” said Bishop Anthony. “You are both held in such high esteem and greatly loved by these, your people of Broken Bay. And I hope that I can be half the bishop you have been leading this flock.
Bishop Anthony also thanked Fr David Ranson, who has been leading Broken Bay as Diocesan Administrator for the last 16 months, since Archbishop Peter Comensoli was appointed to Melbourne. Quoting Chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel, Bishop Randazzo said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
After Mass, guests were invited to join Bishop Anthony for a light supper in the adjacent hall.
And so begins a new chapter in the life of the Diocese of Broken Bay, with a new shepherd to guide and stand amongst the flock in their faith journey.
Homily given by Most Rev Anthony Randazzo
Fourth Bishop of Broken Bay
Mass of Installation – 4 November 2019
Saint Charles Borromeo, whose feast we celebrate today, has been the subject of biographers and historians for over 400 years. The sixteenth century Archbishop of Milan and patron saint of bishops, seminarians, and catechists, is perhaps remembered best for being a bold reformer of the Church.
With his legacy of reform, some might forget that Saint Charles’ greatest legacy is his religious virtue, and his inspiration for others to be disciples of the Lord.
As a reformer, Charles identified many challenges in the events of everyday life that, left unchecked, were harmful or abusive to his people and to the mission of the Church.
Once he identified these challenges, he would preach the Word of God into the various circumstances, always with the purpose of bringing to the attention of all members of the community the right order of life – with God, our creator and redeemer, at the centre (cf. Carlo Bascapé, Vita e Opera di Carlo 391).
At the heart of Charles’ preaching was a call to conversion, which would lead to renewal, and lay the foundation for authentic reform.
Saint Charles remained firm in his conviction that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all of creation is restored. For Charles, this was not merely a static dogmatic thesis; it was a living and dynamic profession of faith that would animate his life and ministry. The restored creation, for Borromeo, would be recognised most powerfully in a renewed Church.
Somewhat courageously, he focused his attention on the reformation of the clergy. In this, Saint Charles would provide for us the inspiration – taken up by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council – that the renewal of the Church begins with the renewal of the clergy. (cf. Presbyterorum ordinis 1)
One outward sign of this renewal was mandating that all clergy were to be clean-shaven. Charles appeared in public without a beard, firstly, to show that conversion, renewal, and reform also applied – perhaps especially applied – to himself; and secondly, to be in solidarity with his closest collaborators, the priests.
When the shepherd offers personal testimony to the saving power of God in his own life, then the sheep will follow with confidence and hope.
When the shepherd lives a life of fidelity to God and is at the service of God’s holy People, then the People of God will be drawn more deeply into their vocation to be holy.
When the shepherd imitates Christ by giving his life for the sheep (Jn 10:15), the People will listen and will be of one mind and one heart in the Spirit.
With Christ, the Good Shepherd as our guide, there is the faithful promise of life to the full (Jn 10:10).
In the letter to the Romans that we have listened to this evening (Rom 12:3-13), Saint Paul writes with a certain boldness, reminding members of the Christian community not to exaggerate their own individual importance.
While he affirms that each has received the grace of God, Paul cautions that the Christian vocation is not merely to work as individuals, each separately pursuing their own personal salvation. Rather, Saint Paul reminds the community that fellowship with Christ means an abiding communion with His body.
In the Body of Christ, each member has a place, a dignity, a role, a gift, and a vocation for the benefit of all.
As the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught, the people whom Christ has established as his own are a communion of life, charity and truth (cf. Lumen gentium 9).
As members of His Body, we are called as the Church to be an instrument for the redemption of all. Our common call is to be holy, to be disciples, and to be sent forth as the light of the world and the salt of the earth (cf. Lumen gentium 32).
Of course, to be holy, is to be configured more closely to Christ each day. To be authentic disciples, is to take up the cross and follow Jesus each day. And to be sent forth as missionaries into the world requires that we use our gifts, freely, diligently and cheerfully so that others may come to see and know Christ present in us – sometimes by what we say and do, but always because of who we are – the living members of the Body of Christ.
In his prophetic way, Saint Paul reminds us that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are configured daily to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who stirs us into action.
To the Church at Corinth he says “In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens” (1 Cor 12:13).
To the Church at Ephesus he says, “There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:4-5).
My sisters and brothers, what is common to Saint Paul and Saint Charles Borromeo is their utter conviction that the love of God is given to us in Jesus Christ. They remind us that the Holy Spirit binds us together into one body, the Church – me, your bishop and you, God’s holy people entrusted to my care.
The lives and teachings of Saint Paul and Saint Charles Borromeo remind me and you that as disciples of Christ, we do not exist in isolation from the human society in which we live. Saint Paul knew this when he wrote to the early Christian communities. He gave remarkable testimony to his vocation by preaching the Gospel, which he saw as a duty which was laid upon him (1Cor 9:16-19.22-23). He did not need to be asked or told to preach the Good News; it was a commission that he undertook with commitment, passion and above all, generosity.
Likewise, Saint Charles was adamant that reform was only possible in the Church if it was preceded by a personal and genuine conversion and renewal.
My dear people, the first question to ask today is “whether the remarkable testimonies of these saints is something you and I should imitate in our Church of Broken Bay?”
The answer comes from Paul who was concerned not for himself, but for those who had not heard of Jesus. How could he win them for Christ?
Paul is quick to remind us that, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do all to the glory of God. He says, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (cf. 1 Cor 10:31–11:1).
Saint Paul’s aim is clear. He does all for the sake of the Gospel, that he may become a fellow partaker of it. His faith and love of Christ would be utterly inauthentic and false, if he abandoned the pattern of life set by Jesus and no longer cared for other people.
He tells us his aim in three ways: to win others; to save others; to partake in the benefits of the gospel himself. And when all is said and done, he reminds us not to seek self-glorification, but rather to “boast about the Lord” (1Cor 1:31), not to exaggerate our real importance, but to give freely, to be diligent and to be cheerful.
If we are in need of encouragement in order to carry out our ministry among the sick and the poor; the stranger and the lost; the abused and the marginalised, we can take heart by standing alongside Saint Paul, Saint Charles Borromeo, and countless women and men who have dedicated their lives to the mission of the Church in Broken Bay over the past 33 years, and indeed the Church across the world over the centuries. We need look no further than these holy men and women for the blueprint for our Christian life.
As we gather to celebrate the Mass this evening, we place ourselves before others to be for others, and we do so motivated by love of God and of neighbour.
Side by side as brothers and sisters let us encourage, challenge and support each other as we respond to our vocation to be Christ in the world.
In baptism we have already been committed to a life of Christian discipleship, may God who has begun the good work in us, bring it to completion. Amen.
With thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay.