Bishop Philip Moger was ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Southwark by Archbishop John Wilson in St George's Cathedral on the Feast of St Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: Tuesday 21st February 2023, at 12:30 pm.
In attendance were Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. They were joined by Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds, where 'Father Moger' was first ordained by Bishop Gordon Wheeler in 1982, along with many Bishops from England and Wales and Priests, Deacons and Religious of the Archdiocese of Southwark.
Also present were several ecumenical guests including the former Suffragan Bishop of Whitby, The Right Reverend Bishop Ladds, the Administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Reverend Kevin Smith, and representatives from Southwark Anglican Diocese and Cathedral. The Mayors of Kingston-Upon-Thames and Lambeth were also present, and were among a number of representatives who extended formal but warm greetings to Bishop Moger.
Giving an address at the end of his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Moger explained his surprise at the new appointment of Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark
"The Archbishop spoke of the mystery of God's providence and it was certainly a revelation to me when I got a phone call in Rome in November.
It was a great privilege in Walsingham to enter into the drama of our ladies. Yes, to God's incredible invitation, and with others in some small way, to draw pilgrims into that mystery, into that drama and into a deeper understanding of their own vocation. And if that is your constant theme as the rector of the shrine to pilgrims, trying to get them to imitate Our Lady’s ‘yes’ to God, how can you refuse when it comes to you?….Me?
And now the God of Surprises has been active again…I was scarcely able to believe my ears when I received the news of my appointment here, and when I travelled down for the announcement of my appointment to be made in Archbishop's House in November, the loving welcome I was given was warm and generous".
Archbishop Wilson pointed out that on his Feast Day, St Peter Damian offered wise and holy counsel at this time, to 'detach ourselves in spirit from all that we see, and cling to that which we believe'. He went on to explain further:
“Your episcopal ordination is a consecration in, and to, the love of Christ. Through it your earthenware heart is remoulded. St Peter Damian comments that ‘the potter’s furnace puts vessels to the test.’ The test for us as bishops is how extensively and faithfully we show the love of Christ. Significantly, a distinctive quality of earthen vessels is that, even after being fired in the kiln, they remain porous. Our episcopal ministry is never perfect. But porously open to Christ we seek to let his love flow out from us”.
Also remarking on Our Blessed Mother’s ‘fiat’ or ‘yes’, Archbishop Wilson offered his thanks to our new Auxiliary Bishop with these words in his homily:
“Thank you for your ‘yes’ to a future unknown to you, but known fully to God. Your time in Walsingham has obviously not been wasted. Having taken to heart Our Lady’s own fiat you can now echo her faithfulness in accepting God’s choice according to God’s will".
Bishop Moger’s lively and amiable sense of humour was apparent throughout his address, but his final thoughts referred back to the gift of Ordination and to St Peter Damian:
"I begin my ministry as a bishop in this great diocese with joy and faith above all, in the one who said, you have not chosen me, I have chosen you. And he is the one who knows what an earthen vessel he is placing his treasure in".
Please keep Bishop Philip Moger in your prayers as he embarks on this important new chapter in his ministry as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark.
View Bishop Philip Moger's Address
(courtesy of M. Mazur / CBCEW)