Bathurst priest appointed new Bishop of Sale, Victoria

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, has announced the appointment by His Holiness Pope Francis, of Reverend Patrick Michael O’Regan as the new Bishop of Sale, Victoria.

Bishop O’Regan is currently the Vicar General of the Diocese of Bathurst, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. John and Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese.

He said felt a blend of surprise, excitement, numbness, humility and sadness on his appointment. “…surprise at being chosen; excitement at being able to be a source of unity and hope to the People of God in the Diocese of Sale; still numb from having one’s world turned upside down; humility, as the path of service opens up more deeply before me; and sadness that, after 31 years of working in and 56 yrs of being part of the Diocese of Bathurst, I’m a little like Abram in being called away to Sale, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”. (Genesis 12:1).

Bishop Michael McKenna said “The call Father O’Regan has been given is an acknowledgement of his great talents in the service of the Gospel and the gifts of faith and humanity which we have long recognised in him. It is good news for God’s People of Sale, who have waited a long time for a chief pastor”.

Bishop O’Regan will be the sixth Bathurst priest to become a bishop; the third to have been born in our Diocese; and the second from Perthville.

“It goes without saying that Pat’s departure will leave an enormous gap in the life of the Diocese. However, I am confident that this gift of one of our finest priests will be repaid a hundredfold by God, who is never outdone in generosity” Bishop McKenna added.

The Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Bishop-elect Patrick O'Regan as the ninth Bishop of Sale will take place at Phelan Stadium, Catholic College, Sale at 11am on Thursday, 26th February 2015. Further details will follow after Christmas.

The new Bishop of Sale with Bishop Michael McKenna following the announcement

Some words from Bishop-Elect, Most Reverend Patrick O'Regan......

In a week when we have been mourning the tragic death of Phillip Hughes, I’m also reminded of another Hughes, Gerard this time and his book, God of Surprises.

In responding to Pope Francis’ choice I see the hand of God somehow in all of this, (Mary MacKillop), as the God of surprises. 

I feel a real blend of surprise, excitement, numbness, humility and sadness: surprise at being chosen; excitement at being able to be a source of unity and hope to the People of God in the Diocese of Sale, still numb from having one’s world turned upside down, a very Advent-ish, John the Baptist thing to do; humility, as the path of service opens up more deeply before me and sadness that after 31 years of working in and 56 yrs of being part of the Diocese of Bathurst, I’m a little like Abram in being called away to Sale, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.“.(Genesis 12:1).

This is also been a huge week for the the Diocese of Sale. We have been mourning Bishop Jeremiah Coffey’s death and now the announcement of a new Bishop. May he rest in peace and may the Good God continue to bless the Diocese of Sale.

As is so often the case in the Christian life, Death and New Life are part of our experience. Through the eyes of faith, these combine together in hope by the God of surprises who assures Christ’s ultimate victory and ever-present faithful love.

May our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.


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