Joyful gratitude marks the start of the new episcopacy for Cardiff

Following the announcement of the appointment of Mark O’Toole as the 8th Archbishop of Cardiff on April 27th2022, a very busy period of transition came to its culmination in a joy filled ceremony of installation at St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff yesterday (Monday 20th June).  Along with the joy there was also since of gratitude, gratitude for our new Archbishop and his evident prayerfulness and humility; his gratitude for the hospitality of the Church and people of Wales; and gratitude for the service of Archbishop George Stack.

In a 2-hour long service filled with rich ceremony and symbolism, Archbishop Mark O’Toole was received and welcomed into the local Church of Cardiff.  During his homily he noted that he ‘needs to listen and learn to begin with’.

He went on to say “I have been delighted to hear that since I came to Wales, Wales aspires to be the first Nation of Sanctuary.  This is an expression of the love of God, too, manifested in the love that the people of Wales have for men, women and children from all over the world who have been forced to flee their homes.

“I am so grateful for the presence of some of our ecumenical and civic leaders here today.  With our inter-faith partners, and with all people of goodwill, we want to work together, even in little or small ways, to build up places of sanctuary in our churches and in our communities.”

The Installation was fully livestreamed throughout which comments such as “God Bless to our new Archbishop Mark O’Toole. Welcome to the Diocese” and “it was so up lifting and seeing a close-up of Archbishop Mark’s face eyes closed and praying hard” generally capturing the mood of the occasion.  As the new Archbishop implored “please, please remember me in your prayers”, prayers were being assured.

Fifty-nine-year-old Archbishop O’Toole was born in London and has spent 22 years of his ministry there, before spending 8 years as Bishop of Plymouth. He said: “I am grateful and humbled by the trust that the Holy Father has placed in me.  I face the task ahead both with excitement and a certain trepidation, conscious of my own weaknesses…it is with [a] deep sense that the Lord goes before all of us in this new mission, that I fully embrace this new calling in my life.”

Let us pray daily for our new Archbishop daily over the years ahead.  Ad multos annos!

Photos by: Karol Steckiewicz