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The Southern Cross : December 2011
Mary MacKillop College Kensington know more do more be more Bea MacKillop girl... The Mary MacKillop College community congratulates the Archbishop on a wonderful 10 years of leadership and service to the people of Adelaide. Continued from page 11. "I don't know, I just do it," he says. "I just take each day as it comes and try to make sure that in my life there is a balance between work and recreation. "My only regret at the moment is that over the past couple of years I haven't been able to exercise and I am trying to fix that because it will be much better all round. For my own equilibrium I know I feel better if I exercise." Last year when Archbishop Wilson was asked to speak at the Thomas More forum in Canberra he expanded on the conflicting demands facing a bishop. Typically, he went back in time to explain his views: "St Gregory the Great wrote a long time ago that the difficulty of being a bishop was that you spent your time doing business all the time and it didn't leave a lot of time to do the sort of work you needed to do -- to contemplate the realities of the Gospel and to be fed very deeply spiritually in order to carry out your responsibilities," he told the audience. "I am sure that is a tension that all bishops have found in their lives. It is certainly something that has haunted me in my work and trying to do what I have to do as a bishop -- to have this balance between a contemplative life and an active life. You can't lock yourself in your room as a bishop and spend your time contemplating and not making decisions. Things begin to go wrong if that happens. But you also end up in big trouble if you spend all your time making decisions and you don't spend some time contemplating and praying and opening your life to the Lord in a very deep way." He went on to say that he believed it was important for a bishop to make sure all of his decisions were made "out of a sense of great love and real care and concern for people and being involved in people's lives in such a way that he is able to help them live out the best in their life". Herein lies what he views as "the core proposition" of the Catholic Church. "My big emphasis in my whole ministry and as archbishop has been the importance of prayer and the importance of people loving God and loving one another," he says. "As the church is facing the challenges of our modern world there are many different initiatives and aspects of all that but when it comes down to the bottom line, the really big challenge facing the church is that everyone needs to accept the call to holiness. "One of the great insights of the Second Vatican Council is that all of us, as a result of our baptismal consecration, belong to the universal priesthood of the faithful and that's a call to holiness for everyone and when everyone lives that out, all the different elements of the diocese come together." It's a common theme in the Archbishop's homilies and messages -- the concept of living out the Gospel in our own ordinary, every-day life. And it has guided him as bishop of Adelaide, where he introduced annual Archbishops' Awards to recognise that there are "thousands of people living like that" and, more recently, he has championed the concept of Living Catholic. "These are challenging times for the life of the Church and we all have a big responsibility to do all we can to make the Church the kind of community it ought to be and that's when you come back again to this call to holiness," he adds. Another feature of his Episcopal role in Adelaide has been his commitment to celebrate every Confirmation throughout the diocese. This involves travelling to places near and far -- from Yorke Peninsula and the lower mid-north to Kangaroo Island and Mount Gambier -- often on weeknights and weekends, but the Archbishop is emphatic about the value of his visits which are highly valued by schools and parishes. "Going out and doing the Confirmations and visiting parishes regularly is a real highlight of my life," he says. "It allows me to have a really strong pastoral and liturgical connection with the people. "Yes it would be easy to say I'm too busy or find other means of doing this but I just really enjoy the opportunity to be pastorally present to the people, to preach on those occasions and to have contact with the young people." Looking back over the past 10 years, Archbishop Wilson doesn't talk about achievements but clearly there are areas of his leadership that he believes are significant. "I think that our commitment to trying to develop the union between our parishes and our schools as one community of faith has been one of the highlights, another is all the hard work that has gone into pastoral planning through the Leap Ahead program -- it's been a long hard road with many different elements to it," he says. "We've really been trying to make a pastoral response to our situation to give renewed life to the Church, to reach out to all its members." He insists he did not arrive in Adelaide with any grand plans for the diocese. "It would have been arrogant of me to arrive with a plan because the only way you can do that is in conjunction with the clergy, the religious and the diocese," he says. Page 12 December 2011 www.thesoutherncross.org.au '...we have to pray, go to Mass and be involved with the sacramental life of the Church otherwise it won't make any sense.' Archbishop Philip Wilson -- celebrating 10 years St Columbans Mission Society Congratulates Most Rev Philip Wilson on the 10th anniversary as Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide www.columban.org.au The community of St Michael's College congratulate Archbishop Wilson on the occasion of his 10th Anniversary as Archbishop of Adelaide.