By editor - 27 January, 2016
Courtesy: Independent Catholic News http://www.indcatholicnews.com
The Right Reverend Paul McAleenan and Right Reverend John Wilson were ordained as auxiliary bishops for Westminster diocese on Monday by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
The ceremony took place on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Precious in Westminster.
Bishop McAleenan has been assigned the titular see of Mercia and Bishop Wilson has been assigned the titular see of Lindisfarne.
Cardinal Nichols was the main celebrant and Bishops John Sherrington and Nicholas Hudson acted as the principal co-consecrating bishops.
Bishop Paul McAleenan will have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries of Hertfordshire and Bishop John Wilson will have pastoral responsibility for the deaneries in the western area of the diocese.
The ordination was attended by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster; the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini; Fr Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; as well as archbishops, bishops and nearly 200 priests from across the Church in England and Wales.
Ecumenical guests representing several churches and ecclesial communities also attended as well as the Lord Mayor of Westminster; and Mayors and Members of Parliament from Hertfordshire and the western London Boroughs, representing the areas of pastoral responsibility of the newly-ordained bishops.
In his homily, Cardinal Nichols focused on the lessons from the life of St Paul. He explained that “every bishop is chosen by the Father and given to his Son to be his companion in a special way”; and that this is the “deepest identity” of the bishop: to be a “companion, with the apostles, of the Lord Jesus”.
It is this identity that “gives shape to the daily life of the bishop” and is “the rock of his life”.
It is this same “bond that remains at the heart of all that St Paul is and does”, in the service of the Lord.
The Cardinal also encouraged the bishops to have a “renewed sense of mission”, encouraging and developing participation with “the missionary aspiration of reaching everyone”.
Bishop Paul McAleenan
Prior to his episcopal ordination, Bishop McAleenan was a priest of the Diocese of Westminster for over 40 years.
Born in Belfast, he trained at St Patrick’s College, Thurles.
He was ordained to the priesthood on 8 June 1985 and has served in various capacities throughout this time, beginning as assistant priest at Our Lady of Grace and St Edward in Chiswick.
In 1987, he was appointed assistant priest at St Aidan’s in Acton and chaplain at Hammersmith Hospital. In 1990, he was appointed Assistant Stevenage Team Ministry.
He was appointed parish priest of St Scholastica’s in Clapton in 1994, where he remained until 2001.
He was then appointed parish priest of Holy Rood Watford. He was appointed a member of the Cathedral Chapter in 2010.
On 24 November 2015, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Pope Francis.
Bishop McAleenan will have pastoral care of the deaneries of Hertfordshire.
Bishop John Wilson
Prior to his episcopal ordination, Bishop Wilson was a priest of the Diocese of Leeds.
He trained at the Venerable English College and was ordained to the priesthood on 29 July 1995 by Bishop David Konstant.
He was appointed assistant priest at St Joseph’s, Pontefract in 1995, as well as hospital, hospice and school chaplain. He was appointed assistant priest at St Joseph’s, Bradford in 1998, and also served as school chaplain.
In 1999, he was appointed Lecturer in moral theology at St Cuthbert’s Seminary, Ushaw College, Durham.
He also completed a PhD at Durham University and latterly served as Vice Rector.
In 2005, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation in the Diocese of Leeds, a role he held until 2012. From 2008 to 2014, he was sessional chaplain at HMP Leeds.
He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI in May 2011. He was elected Administrator of the Diocese of Leeds by the College of Consultors during the vacancy of the see, an office which he held from September 2012 to November 2014.
Most recently he served as parish priest of St Martin de Porres, Wakefield.
On 24 November 2015, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Pope Francis. Bishop Wilson will have pastoral care of the deaneries of the western area of the diocese.