At his installation Mass on Thursday, the new Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon OP, called on the people of his diocese and beyond to make preaching the Gospel their primary task.
The archbishop’s installation Mass was celebrated in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on May 1, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.
Taking inspiration from Saint Joseph – who is a patron saint of the Liverpool Archdiocese -Archbishop McMahon spoke on the three key lessons to be learned from the foster father of Jesus: Dream, work, and family
“The task of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ is for all of us,” he said. “We are all called to carry the Lord and be carried by the Lord. The Archdiocese, in Leaving Safe Harbours, has already begun the ‘resolute process of discernment, purification and reform’ which Pope Francis demands of each Diocese, but this cannot be left to others. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we must work together, as Bishop, priests and people, to continue to hand on the Deposit of Faith, to build up the Body of Christ, to worship God in spirit and truth, and to serve our brothers and sisters.”
“So let us dream together about how we can better proclaim Jesus as Lord in our own lives, in our parishes, and in our Diocese. And we are called to dream this dream joyfully, filled with the hope which the Risen Lord gives his Church, and never giving in to the temptation to misery or despair, even when it seems we are swimming against the tide.”
The archbishop went on to say how it is through work that we “deepen our awareness” that “we are temples of the Holy Spirit brothers and sisters of Jesus, children of the Most High,” and that “it is a dignity that is given to us by God”.
“As we care for the world around us, develop earth’s resources for the good of mankind, feed our families and ourselves, we truly realize our identity as being loving, and loveable, children of God. In a changing society we must not lose this insight. Finding fulfilment for our God-given gifts of creativity and service, not giving in to pastimes and leisure activities, chasing the false gods of materialism and self-satisfaction, but being mindful of the obligations of social justice, is a challenge that faces the whole of society and not just the Church.”
Archbishop McMahon then spoke on the importance of family for Saint Joseph.
“You are all here today because you are part of my family – and I am part of yours: my brothers and their families, my cousins and personal friends; my brethren from the Dominican order; my brother Bishops; representatives from the Diocese of Nottingham, where I have been blessed to have been Bishop for the last thirteen years; and finally my new family – the Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laypeople who make up the Archdiocese of Liverpool, together with our friends from other Churches and faith traditions, civic society, and all people of goodwill.”
The archbishop concluded by addressing the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 people were killed and hundreds more injured
“That search for truth continues in the Hillsborough inquest, as at long last a true picture of the causes of this terrible tragedy become clear and responsibility is taken for it,” he said. “It is our hope and expectation that the inquest will uncover and explain the truth of what happened so that justice will be done for the 96 and for their families, whose dignity over these last 25 years has been an example to us all.”