Tonight more than 1000 people gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Townsville for a special Mass for Bishop Michael Putney, Bishop of Townsville.
This week it was revealed that Bishop Michael has been diagnosed with an inoperable stomach cancer, which has also spread to his liver. Acting Vicar General Fr Michael Taylor said that when speaking to Bishop Michael that He states that he is completely at peace about what will happen and leaves his future entirely in the hands of God.
People from all walks of life and faiths gathered to offer prayers and support for their much-loved Bishop. The congregation included state and federal politicians, church leaders, catholic agency representatives, members of the many nationalities that Bishop Michael had embraced and supported and children who he had inspired during his regular visits to the Catholic schools in the diocese.
Fr Michael spoke passionately in his homily that Bishop Michael is very composed and peaceful, and sees the road ahead as very much part of what God wants him to do. He said that he expects that Bishop Michael will deliver some of the most inspiring homilies when he returns, but he said that the greatest homily he will give will not be from the pulpit, but by the way he lives out these months ahead. That is the utter truth of things, and I think we will hear a lot about truth-telling from him, the utter truth of how mighty God’s love is, the utter truth about how precious every human being is: the utter truth that human suffering does not diminish a person’s beauty, sacredness or dignity. He will tell us the great truth about what it means to be connected with God.
He finished by saying that in the days ahead, with Bishop Michael, let’s walk forward as people set on fire and people of great hope.
As the congregation dispersed people were sharing their own personal relationships with Bishop Michael and the love and care that he shows each and every person that he meets. Bishop Michael will return to Townsville in the coming week where he will continue his role as Bishop of Townsville for as long as he is able.