Schools help to welcome Liverpool’s Archbishop Malcolm

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was packed with over 2,000 people to witness the installation of its third Archbishop of Liverpool, and the Archdiocese’s ninth Archbishop, on Thursday 1 May 2014.

After the Lord Mayor and the High Sheriff took their seats, a grand procession entered to the strains of Dubois, Buxtehude, Elgar and Bach. It contained the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales, Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor and Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles as well as the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Mennini.

Just as he had done 42 days earlier on the day the announcement was made, Apostolic Administrator Bishop Tom Williams welcomed the man appointed to Liverpool by Pope Francis: Malcolm McMahon at the main entrance of the Cathedral, as the media filmed and photographed his arrival.

Following a solemn entrance, the Apostolic Letter of Authority from the Vatican was read by the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Father Aidan Prescott which said: ‘Venerable brother, spread the Kingdom of Christ more and more among your people, so that they may participate in the fruit of his redemption and enjoy full communion with him.’ After this Bishop Tom led the Archbishop-Elect to the Cathedra for the first time. Thereafter the new Archbishop made the following proclamation:

‘With faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the love of God in my heart, I accept the pastoral care of the people of God in the Metropolitan Diocese of Liverpool. I promise to serve faithfully the Church in this Diocese, preach the gospel and celebrate the Eucharist.’

The Archbishop who described himself as ‘an ecumenist by nature’ during the Mass was then greeted by the Right Reverend Richard Blackburn, the Bishop of Warrington and the Liverpool Anglican Diocesan Administrator and Reverend Philip Jump, the Free Church Moderator on behalf of the Church Leaders and Churches Together in the Merseyside Region.

The Mass of Installation took place on the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, with the Archbishop beginning his Homily by saying that this was a deliberate choice on his part as Joseph ‘teaches us that we are part of God’s creative plan for the world, and that we are all called together to work together to fulfil that plan.’

Reflecting on the Mass, Archbishop Malcolm said: ‘I’d like to thank each and every one who came on the day I began my mission as Archbishop of Liverpool. In particular, I would like to thank those who worked so hard to make my Installation Day so happy and welcoming for the many people who came to the Metropolitan Cathedral from the Archdiocese and beyond. I am honoured to be among you as your Archbishop. May God bless you and your families.’

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