“He is a great builder of the Church”, commented Archbishop Phillip Wilson (Adelaide) on Archbishop Mark to me once. It sums up what Bishop Mark is. He leaves a great legacy and solid foundations for the future as he leaves Canberra and Goulburn, which he built on the good works of his predecessors. As Mons. Kevin Barry-Cotter rightly pointed out in his farewell address in Cootamundra – the greatest achievement of Bishop Mark was realizing the long-term dream of a “Pastoral Institute” in CatholicLife at Rheinberger Centre, Yarralumla. The successful Archdiocesan Assembly few months ago and the follow-ups in setting up a mission model of pastoral care in different centres will shape the future of the archdiocese, for sure.
To be Catholic means to be universal, which truly Bishop Mark is. He was always at the heart of the Church – when he gave leadership to the liturgical translations and frequently visited Vatican to be part of various committees he is a member of – and we felt listening to the orthodoxy of the Church whenever he delivered his eloquent and animated homilies and addresses. He is a great teacher.
He shared a very special heart for the youth. The leadership he provided to the success of WYD-Sydney and Days-in-the-Diocese prior to that was inspirational. He inspired a new breed of youngsters to priesthood, which resulted in a healthy number of seminarians and young priests in the Archdiocese.
We wish him well and offer prayers for his future ministries.