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The Southern Cross : December 2011
Sevenhill Cellars congratulates the Most Rev Philip Wilson on the 10th Anniversary of his installation as Archbishop of Adelaide. The oldest winery in South Australia s Clare Valley, Sevenhill is a highly regarded producer of sacramental and table wines for Australian and international markets. www.sevenhill.com.au DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE www.ignatius.sa.edu.au Saint Ignatius' College CONGRATULATES Archbishop Wilson on the 10th Anniversary as Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide. CD3054 December 2011 Page 13 www.thesoutherncross.org.au "Sure, I had some input into those things but I knew I had to engage with the people of the diocese and then put something into action. And that's what has happened over the past 10 years and it's been really terrific." However, he unashamedly admits that one of his big aims was to "deal with the reality of the challenges faced by the Church as a result of the sexual abuse phenomena both worldwide and in our diocese and especially to provide a really strong and caring pastoral response to the victims". There are four aspects to this, he says: dealing with the perpetrators, providing pastoral care to the victims and families, improving the selection and training of clergy, and putting in place procedures for preventing and dealing with incidents of abuse. "This has been made a very high priority here in SA in our two dioceses by both bishops and clergy -- we are deeply committed to it." Four events in the past 10 years stand out for him, the first being the death of John Paul II. "The way that was commemorated in the diocese was incredible. We had one of the biggest memorial Masses for him in the whole world at Adelaide Oval," he says. "Another big event for me was the relics of St Therese of Lisieux and what I saw in the way that people responded to her presence among us, the prayer and devotion of people of all ages." Of course the canonisation of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop -- an outstanding example of the call to holiness of an ordinary Australian -- and the 2008 World Youth Day, including the Days of the Diocese, were the other two obvious choices. Looking forward, he sees one of his major responsibilities as strengthening the ties with other Christian denominations and people of different faiths. Once again, this is based on "the real appreciation of the value of each person". "We have to respect their differences and be honest to what we believe in but at the same time be open and loving to everyone else." He predicts the challenges presented to us by Leap Ahead will become more and more demanding in the years ahead. "I really hope that in the next 10 years we develop a stronger sense of Catholic community and engage more and more with our young people; we need to try to understand how important it is to go to Mass and take the sacraments; we have to pray, go to Mass and be involved with the sacramental life of the Church otherwise it won't make any sense." A regular visitor to multicultural community Masses and gatherings, Archbishop Wilson is a strong advocate for ensuring Catholics from different countries are able to maintain their faith -- and that of their children -- in a secular society like Australia. "This Catholic Church in Adelaide has benefited from the very beginning from the presence of people who came from other places and brought their faith and culture," he says. "Our multicultural work is such an important part of making people aware they can be true to their culture but can still be united in the Catholic experience of the Archdiocese. "It is one of the big challenges facing us because we are experiencing another big burst of arrivals from other places. "Young people get involved in the culture of youth which creates problems for them and coming to a new country they come with all they have from their homeland and their home culture and now they have to live in a new context," he says, adding that this can create relationship problems in families. As a newcomer to Adelaide in 2001, the Cessnock-born Archbishop knows a little of what it's like to come to a place where no-one knows you and recalls how he felt when he stepped off the plane on a hot summer's day in January and walked across the tarmac. Blinded by the light and the heat, he remembers saying a little prayer to himself: 'Well Lord here I am and I have come to do Your will and I don't know anyone much but I know You'll guide me and them together and this will be just fine'. His prayer was answered and he lists as the most pleasing aspect of his 10 years as bishop of Adelaide "getting to know the people of the diocese and being involved in their lives". "The whole community has been welcoming and I have had really enjoyable times with all the parishes and groups in the diocese," he says. Asked if he'd like to add anything to the story, his subtle but quick wit comes to the fore: "No thanks!" And a postmark question about where he'll be in 10 years' time is easily accounted for. "In 14 years I'll be retiring and I presume I'll be doing that here." 'Well Lord here I am and I have come to do Your will and I don't know anyone much but I know You'll guide me and them together and this will be just fine'. December 3, 2001 -- Installed as Archbishop of Adelaide at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. December 4, 2001 -- Celebrated first Mass as Archbishop of Adelaide for staff, in St Patrick's Church, Grote Street, Adelaide. December 9, 2001 -- First Mass Celebrated in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, as Archbishop. May 2006 -- Elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for a two-year term. May 2008 -- Re-elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for a two-year term. May 2010 -- re-elected President of the ACBC for a two-year-term. 2011 -- appointed as Co-Chair of National Committee for Professional Standards. Fast facts Archbishop Philip Wilson -- celebrating 10 years Nazareth congratulates Archbishop Philip Wilson on his tenth anniversary as Adelaide s Archbishop. We proudly acknowledge the dedicated and committed service that Archbishop Wilson has given to the people of Adelaide, and particularly to our community. www.nazareth.org.au Nazareth Catholic Community a place of welcome connecting faith, family and education