Pennant Hills, Australia, Dec 13, 2014 / 13:04 pm
During the homily at his Mass of Installation as Bishop of Broken Bay on Friday, Peter Comensoli entrusted both the diocese and his ministry to Our Lady Star of the Sea, and centered on the proclamation of Christ.
"On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for who I have had a special devotion, I entrust my ministry and our diocese to the loving protection of St Mary, Star of the Sea, our sure light leading us to Christ," Bishop Comensoli said Dec. 12 during his Mass of Installation at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral in Waitara, in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Continuing to speak about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, he reflected: "What exciting times lie before us as we together proclaim Christ crucified to the people of the Central Coast, the Northern Peninsula and the North Shore."
"Evangelising is nothing more - or less - than me telling someone the story of the value and significance of my friendship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour," Bishop Comensoli said.
The new Bishop of Broken Bay particularly emphasized, "It is you young people who are our particularly refreshing streams of grace. We need your vitality, hope and energy flowing into our diocesan river to replenish us."
He added further that "it is you young people who will courageously take up the challenge, now and into the future, to respond generously to Christ in whatever your call will be."
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Comensoli as the ordinary of the Diocese of Broken Bay Nov. 20, to succeed Bishop David Walker, who had retired a year prior, on his 75th birthday.
Bishop Comensoli was born in Bulli, in New South Wales, in 1964. He studied commerce at Wollongong University and the University of New England, and then entered seminary in 1986. He studied at St. Patrick's College and the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wollongong in 1992.
As a priest, he obtained a license in moral theology from the Alfonsiana Academia, a master's in moral philosophy from the University of St. Andrews, and a doctorate in theological ethics from Edinburgh University.
In 2011 he was consecrated a bishop, and appointed an auxiliary of the Sydney archdiocese. There, he served as vicar general, episcopal vicar for life, marriage and family, and chair of the Catholic schools board.
When the Archdiocese of Sydney was left vacant by Cardinal Pell's transfer to the Secretariat for the Economy, Bishop Comensoli served as apostolic administrator.
Concelebrants of Bishop Comensoli's Installation Mass included Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne; Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney; and and Bishop Walker.
The Diocese of Broken Bay covers more than 1,000 square miles, in the northern suburbs of Sydney and up the central coast to Toukley, more than 70 miles from the state capital.
The diocese includes 218,000 Catholics, roughly a quarter of the total population, and 26 parishes. In 2012, it was served by 37 diocesan priests, and 75 religious.
The intercessory prayers reflected the diocese's diversity, being said in Italian, Tongan, Korean, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Malayalam.
"I hope I will be a good shepherd for you, after the heart of Jesus," Bishop Comensoli told the people of the Broken Bay diocese. "The gift of your ongoing prayer will greatly aid me in this regard."