BISHOP Séamus Cunningham was installed as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in a two-hour ceremony at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, on Friday March 20 at noon, writes John Bailey.
It was the feast day of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, seventh century northern saint and patron of the diocese.
People from every town and rural community in the region joined more than 20 civic guests, 200 priests, deacons and members of religious orders plus 105 of Bishop Cunningham’s close family from Ireland to pack the cathedral to its great West Door on Clayton Street West.
Bishop Cunningham, 66, was ordained bishop by Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool supported by Bishop Ambrose Griffiths, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle until his retirement in 2004, and Bishop Michael Campbell from Lancaster. Cardinal MurphyO’Connor and Cardinal O’Brien were also present, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, brought the proclamation from Rome, written in Latin.