The Most Reverend Mark Edwards OMI was received as the sixth Bishop of
Wagga Wagga during a Liturgical Reception and Solemn Mass at St Michael's
Cathedral, Wagga Wagga on Wednesday 22 July 2020.
The Liturgical Reception was held on the Feast day of St Mary Magdalene
with limited numbers in attendance due to current COVID19 restrictions.
The solemn Mass was concelebrated with the archbishops and bishops who
were able to travel, priests of the diocese of Wagga Wagga and of other
Arriving at the Cathedral, Bishop Edwards was greeted by a traditional
Wiradjuri smoking ceremony and was then welcomed by the Metropolitan
Archbishop, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher who presented him to the
Apostolic Administrator the Most Reverend Christopher Prowse and his
Delegate Reverend Father Kevin O'Reilly.
Following a Welcome to Country by Wiradjuri Elder, Aunty Kath Withers,
welcomed the intimate congregation declaring "Good things come to those
who wait. Clearly Pope Francis thinks Bishop Mark Edwards is a very good
thing and so you've waited nearly four years for him as well as a COVID19
lockdown to make this, not only one of the most welcome installation
ceremonies but also one of the strangest in the history of the Church in
The Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, His Excellency Most Reverend Adolfo
Tito C. Yllana, read out the Apostolic Letter appointing the Most
Reverend Mark Edwards OMI Bishop of Wagga Wagga, first in Latin, then in
Amongst those able to attend the Mass were a number of Civic Dignitaries
including Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina, Michael
McCormack, Member for Wagga Wagga, Dr Joe McGirr PM, Mayor of Wagga
Wagga, Greg Conkey OAM, and representatives of other churches, agencies
and community groups.
A virtual choir of students from Catholic schools across the diocese
performed "Insieme (Together)" via video as representatives of the
clergy, religious and laity of the diocese and its agencies, civic and
religious leaders, welcomed the Bishop to his new role as shepherd of the
people of Wagga Wagga.
Bishop Edwards thanked the diocese for their patience over the years
without a bishop and praised the efforts of Archbishop Prowse in
overseeing the diocese.
"I'm grateful to the people and clergy of the diocese who have made me so
welcome and who have prayed for a bishop of the diocese," he said.
"To be bishop of this diocese is a call from God through the church."
After Communion, the Bishop thanked his family, friends, brother priests
and all those who weren't able to attend today's ceremony.
The Bishop's Coat of Arms features the motto 'Learn who you are in the
eyes of God' in both English and Wiradjuri. This is an appeal from St
Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Oblates to experience that we are
beloved children of God and that He delights in us.
Please click the link below for Bishop Edwards' Homily: