A farewell Mass of Thanksgiving was held for Bishop-elect Mark O’Toole at Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday 22 January. Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Bishops John Arnold and John Sherrington and clergy of the diocese came together for the Mass.
His Episcopal Ordination will be held on 28 January at the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Boniface in Plymouth. He is replacing Bishop Christopher Budd who has retired at the age of 75.
The Archbishop thanked Bishop-elect Mark for all his work in twenty years of service to the diocese:
‘Mark, we gather this evening to pray for you and with you as you prepare to take up your new ministry in the Diocese of Plymouth.
In doing so we readily thank God - and you yourself – for your great love for this Diocese and for your commitment to its life and well-being. Many will think of your work in our parishes, especially in St Mary Magdalene, Willesden Green, in your vital role as Private Secretary to Cardinal Cormac and, of course, in the great responsibilities you accepted as Rector of Allen Hall and as a member of the Archbishop’s Council of the Diocese. We have benefitted greatly from your gifts, your clear mind, your perceptive heart and your generous endeavours. These are the qualities and experience you are now called upon to take into the service of the Diocese of Plymouth. There, priests and people will very quickly recognise your goodness and respond to you willingly and generously. Of that there is no doubt.’
Bishop-elect Mark will become the ninth Bishop of Plymouth since its establishment of the See in 1850. The diocese consists of the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset (west of the original county border) and the Isles of Scilly. The patron of the Diocese is St Boniface.
The full text of the Archbishop's homily can be viewed HERE