As Westminster Diocese bids farewell to outgoing Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has praised his “hard work and dedication in the service of the priests and people.”
Last month, Pope Francis announced that Bishop Hopes will be the fourth Bishop of East Anglia.
The Cardinal, who ordained Bishop Hopes alongside the now-Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, as Auxiliary Bishops of Westminster on 23 December 2002, praised Bishop Hopes’ “total dedication to the task that you were given on assuming the responsibility of a bishop”.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor preached at a special farewell Mass in Westminster Cathedral on 9 July ahead of Bishop Hopes’ installation in the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Norwich, on Tuesday, 16 July 2013.
In trademark genial style, the Cardinal injected some humour into his homily:
“You were kind and gentle and only got angry with one person, I understand. That was the lady who speaks on your sat-nav and with whom you quarrel as you drive along. My advice, Alan, would be when you reach East Anglia and are driving along the winding roads of Norfolk and Suffolk, is not to quarrel with that lady – she may be better informed than you are about the road system there!”
On a more serious note, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor echoed the words of Pope Francis to Nuncios – Papal Ambassadors – gathered in Rome a few weeks ago. The Holy Father offered them advice on what they should look for when appointing new bishops.
“Dear Alan, love the people you have been given as your flock; keep watch over them; tend hope, which will never disappoint and try and make sure that there is sun and light in their hearts.”
You can download Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s homily using the link in the top right-hand corner of this article.
A small gallery of images from the Westminster Mass