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Clergy pay last respects to Archbishop Wilson


Clergy and staff of the Adelaide Archdiocese said their farewells to Archbishop Philip Wilson this morning, in the lead up to his Funeral Mass which will be held tomorrow, February 3 at 11am.

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Archbishop Patrick O’Regan celebrated the 11am Mass which was attended by more than 80 deacons and priests as well as staff from the Diocesan Centre, who will be unable to attend the funeral because of the cap on numbers due to COVID restrictions.

At the start of the service Archbishop O’Regan received the coffin into St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral where it was placed on the floor in front of the altar, according to the wishes of Archbishop Wilson.

Bishop Emeritus Greg O’Kelly SJ and several priests concelebrated the memorial service for the man who led the Archdiocese from 2001 to 2018. Retired priest Mgr Robert Rice, who has seen four bishops die, delivered the homily and spoke of Archbishop Wilson’s work dealing with child sex abuse in Wollongong and Adelaide, his leadership skills at a national and local level and significant developments in the Archdiocese.

Following the Mass, the faithful were given the opportunity to pray in the presence of the coffin.

This evening’s Vigil Mass and tomorrow’s Funeral Mass are invitation only, however the latter will be livestreamed via

Archbishop Wilson served as Archbishop of Adelaide and as Bishop of Wollongong during his 45 years of priestly ministry.

He died in Adelaide on Sunday January 17 at the age of 70.

Born in the Hunter region of New South Wales, a young Philip Wilson attended St Joseph’s Hunter Hill before studying at St Columba’s College, Springwood, and St Patrick’s College, Manly. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 1975.

He served as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for three consecutive terms from 2006 to 2012. Archbishop Wilson had suffered a series of health problems in recent years, including cancer.

A memorial page is available at



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