A special Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in honour of Bishop Alan Hopes on 9 July at Westminster Cathedral.
Bishop Alan will be installed as the Bishop of East Anglia on 16 July at Norwich Cathedral. Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated the Mass along with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Bishop John Arnold and Bishop John Sherrington. They were joined by about 90 priests from the diocese.
Cardinal Cormac delivered the homily in which he said: “One of the very nice things that have happened since your appointment to East Anglia has been the fact that every priest that has spoken to me has expressed sorrow at your going saying they will miss you very much; they will miss your sympathy and your concern for them; they will miss your hard work and dedication in the service of the priests and people, especially, of course, in the Western Area. Above all, they will miss your friendship and your total dedication to the task that you were given on assuming the responsibility of a bishop.
In the closing remarks of the Mass Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: “We have in our hearts the mission that you (Bishop Alan) now take on. You go from our home to this new task and we want to assure you that your place here at this altar is never forgotten; the way you have nourished us, the witness of your life, your words, will always remain a source of gratitude in our hearts.”
Bishop Alan said: “I feel a little like Abraham who was told at the age of 75 (a bit older than I am) he was called by the Lord to leave his home to a go to a far away place where he would be given fresh challenges and would be blessed by God. At the age of 69 the Lord has asked me to do something similar.. to lead and shepherd the Church in East Anglia."
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