Posted on 23 June 2016
The new Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, today celebrates five years since his ordination as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne where he served as Chair of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV).
Stephen Elder is Executive Director, Catholic Education Melbourne, and a director of CECV. He paid tribute to Bishop Vincent.
“Bishop Vincent has played many roles in the life of the Catholic Church of Melbourne and he has been a man for the times. He has embodied the struggle of the Church under communist rule in Vietnam, the vicissitudes of the life of a refugee in Malaysia and in Australia, the richness of the traditions of the Greyfriars, the discipline of academic studies in Rome, the multicultural life of Melbourne’s Springvale and the call of service through leadership within the Conventual Franciscans and as an auxiliary bishop in Australia’s most populous diocese.
“These diverse experiences have been distilled into a calm reflective manner of keen insight and a desire to effect change for good, especially for those who have few advocates to speak for them.
“A major responsibility that Bishop Vincent has taken on has been the role of Chair of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) Ltd. The CECV represents the educational interests of the Bishops of Victoria across the Archdiocese of Melbourne and three dioceses of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst.
“The 2015 statistics show that the Catholic school sector under the aegis of CECV consisted of 493 schools, 207,182.9 equivalent full-time students and 19,694.5 equivalent full-time staff. The CECV is responsible for a turnover well in excess of $2 billion.
“Bishop Long has led the CECV through the full gamut of the normal funding, industrial relations, technology and accountability regimes. However, his Chairmanship has been marked by some spectacular outcomes.
“The Victorian Government for the first time committed to legislation of the funding of the sector at 25% of the cost of educating a child in a government school, as well as committing to a pool of capital funding.
“CECV committed to the Integrated Catholic Online Network to give all schools access to collaborative teaching and learning tools online as well as administrative, financial and human resources regardless of local socio-economic circumstances as a joint venture of the schools and the dioceses.
“Under the shadow of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, CECV has endorsed child safety protocols and programs to ensure Catholic schools are safe schools. Perhaps the most significant outcome of Bishop Long’s term as Chair of CECV has been the embedding of the international research project, Enhancing Catholic Schools Identity Project, in the lives of our schools.
“In all this, Bishop Vincent has brought his measured approach, his enthusiasm for good process and outcomes and a gentle spirit of collaboration. His personable character has meant that each of his CECV colleagues has been valued in his interactions with them. I will miss his insight and his collegial support for Catholic education and I wish him well for his new ministry in Parramatta.”