Mgr Moger most recently spent just over a year as Parish Priest of the St John Mary Vianney parish in the Diocese of Leeds. Before that he was Dean of Leeds Cathedral and oversaw a refurbishment of the building. He gained considerable experience in organising large-scale celebrations through having responsibility for liturgies during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to England in 2010.
Bishop Alan opened the celebration in Walsingham by welcoming ecumenical guests, including clergy from the Anglican Shrine. The message of Walsingham, he reminded the congregation, was an encouragement to build and to evangelise.
In his homily, Mgr Moger recalled the saying that the best way to make God laugh was to tell Him your plans. “In the last few months, many of us have seen a complete overturning of our plans,” he said, “or at least a considerable change…Now we only see the tapestry from behind…a picture of confusion or incompleteness.”
Commenting on Mary’s ‘yes’ in the Gospel reading, he added: “This ready acceptance of God’s invitation was not a one-off, but a high point in believing, living and loving. The words ‘What you have said be done to me’ came naturally to her lips…There would be dark moments on her journey through to Calvary…It was then that she would dig deep into what God had said to her through the angel.”
Mgr Moger completed his inaugural message with a reflection on those words of the angel, do not be afraid. “This word is given to everyone when the waters of his soul are disturbed by the hand of God,” he said. “Do not be afraid: how much we all need to hear that word…Let’s never forget that Our Lady always stands beside us. Even if we don’t know what the future holds, we know who holds the future.”
Pictured above are Bishop Alan Hopes and Mgr Philip Moger. To see a Flickr gallery of images from the induction, please click the link below.