Catholic Stafford was represented not only by Bishop Stephens family but also by Canon Micheal and Fr Bob who presented him with a gift from the parish and are schools, which was a Stole and Chasuble with the Crest on Blessed Mother Teresa's primary school which of course Bishop Stephen attended as a Pupil. (please see photo below)
During his homily he spoke fondly of when he was parishioner here at St Austins, when Bishop Kevin Dunn was Parish Priest here in Stafford, (who also went on to be the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle) Bishop Stephen said :
“Some of you may know that Bishop Kevin Dunn was my Parish Priest in Stafford when I was in my twenties. I was in seminary and then ordained a priest in 2000. I sense his infectious smile and humour and certainly his prayers. He influenced me a lot. You may get used to seeing me pausing to pray at his resting place in the years ahead. I always knew when Kevin wanted me to do something in the parish, “Stephen, do you fancy a pint?”. If it was bigger job, it would be two pints and possibly even a meal. I confess I am stood here wondering how many pints he has lined up for me now“ ( Read the Homily here or watch it below )
During the Mass Bishop Wright was presented with the traditional symbols of a bishop’s ministry: the pastoral staff, the crozier, the ring – in this case St Cuthbert’s ring – and the pectoral cross.
In a very poignant exchange, Bishop Wright received another gift – the powerful symbol of prayer ribbons representing the God-given dignity of victims and survivors of abuse. These ribbons were then tied to the Bishop’s chair and the congregation heard a short testimony from Maggie – a survivor of abuse.
This Mass was attend by many lay faithful and priests as well as The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendía was in attendance, as was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Bernard and many Catholic bishops from the dioceses of England and Wales.
Bishop Stephen has asked for our prayers and a prayer has been published for this occasion
A Prayer for Bishop Stephen Wright:
Lord, rock of our hearts,
from a sea swept island
you sent Aidan and Cuthbert
to sow your Word fruitfully
throughout our Northern Land and
you inspired Bede to understand and speak your truth
reflected in our lives and in our history.
Grant your servant, Stephen,
whom you have called to follow them,
a rich share in this heritage –
to speak your Word courageously
to teach wisely
and to lead with love.
Photos from the day can be found here: Click Here
Please leave your messages for Bishop Stephen below in the comments.