Emeritus Bishop Peter Ingham awarded Member of the Order of Australia
June 13, 2022
Emeritus Bishop Peter Ingham, Clergy life
We are so proud of our dear Emeritus Bishop Peter Ingham AM DD on being named today a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the Catholic Church in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
As Marilyn Rodriquez writes in the Catholic Weekly:
He said he was “so surprised” to receive the honour and wanted to dedicate it to the people of the Diocese of Wollongong.
“I usually think of myself as a very ordinary horse in this human race, I didn’t see that I did anything spectacular but I’ve basically just tried to be there for people,” he said, adding that a lot of his work as a bishop was “loitering with intent”.
“The loitering is the hanging around after Masses and school functions, Confirmations and whatever. And the intent is the witness to the Gospel; getting to know people and mixing with them and treating them as equals so that when they did have something they wanted to talk to you about they didn’t have an inhibition about approaching you.
“Basically what I’ve tried to do is to put ‘fresh heart’ into people and to encourage them to persevere in their faith in Jesus Christ and the consequent goodness then that flows from that so as to make a positive social contribution to the common good of everybody.
“If we have positive values to live by we strengthen the moral fabric of our nation. Particularly among our Catholic people if they really try to live our faith they’re a great force for good in the community.”
“There’s an old French proverb that says’ Gratitude is the memory of the heart’ and in a sense I’m grateful for the goodness of so many people across the Illawarra, the Shoalhaven, the Macarthur, in the parishes, schools, CatholicCare, our Bishop Brian Mascord and clergy, religious congregations and the wonderful volunteers and co-workers.
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.