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Bishop Michael’s Letter

18 November, 2021

We are fast approaching the end of the year.

Over the past month I finished the Confirmation program for the year with visits to Clermont, Moranbah , Longreach, Barcaldine and Blackall.  It’s so wonderful to have our young people going through the Sacraments and I’m very grateful to the Sacramental teams, including the school staff, who prepare our young people so well to receive the Sacraments.

Members of our Diocesan Councils met for governance formation, led by Br David Hall of La Selle Academy from the Australian Catholic University.  This is one of the few times I have members from all our Councils together at the same time.  It is good for them to meet each other and to share in common formation for the roles they under take in supporting me in the running of the Diocese.  The Councils which support me for the running of the Diocese are the Finance Council, Education Council, Centacare Council, Pastoral Council and Priests’ Council.

We had a wonderful lunch gathering for the Clergy and Religious of the Diocese earlier this month.  Again, it is not often we are able to all gather and everyone appreciated the opportunity to spend this time together.  At the gathering we honoured all those who had celebrated significant anniversaries in their ministries for 2020 (as we unable to gather) and 2021.  We have some amazing and dedicated Clergy and Religious in our Diocese and I give thanks for the ministry they provide and their support to me as Bishop.

The Australian Catholic Bishops met online again for their Plenary meeting.  These occur twice each year and is a chance for us to reflect on issues and support the governance of the Australian Church.  As I have mentioned previously, we do miss the opportunity to meet together in person to support each other, but look forward to being able to do this once again.

Of course, with the end of the year comes the school graduations and final assemblies, which I’ve been trying to get to.  I congratulate all our Year 12 young people on completing their schooling and now look to their future, whether that be continued study or employment.  I pray you make wise choices and endeavour to be the best person you can be in all that you do.

With our state borders opening soon, COVID will become much more of a reality to us.  We have been very fortunate to have been protected from the direct impacts of COVID to date and have watched the effect it has had on our southern states and particularly overseas.  I pray you may all keep safe and well, and do the most to ensure you are protected.