Archbishop Philip Wilson welcomed family and friends to the anniversary Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. describing the milestone as a “remarkable achievement” and something that had never occurred before in the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
“We pray for him (Archbishop Faulkner) today, giving thanks to God for his presence amongst us and that He will continue to bless him,” he said.
Archbishop Faulkner was consecrated as Bishop of Townsville on November 28 1967, In 1983 he returned to Adelaide as coadjutor bishop and following the retirement of Archbishop Gleeson he served as Archbishop of Adelaide from 1985 to 2001.
The 91-year-old was principal celebrant at his golden jubilee Mass which was concelebrated by the majority of diocesan priests and deacons as well as six bishops, including the Anglican Primate Bishop Keith Rayner.
The Nuncio to Australia Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana presented Archbishop Faulkner with an apostolic blessing and read a message from Pope Francis congratulating him on his 50th anniversary.
Delivering the homily, Darwin Bishop Eugene Hurley said it was apt and appropriate that his golden jubilee was being celebrated on the feast of All Saints.
“Archbishop Faulkner has spent his life living in the midst of saints, a man among men, a priest for the people and a bishop for the whole Church,” he said.
“We recognise you as a saint, a saint amongst the saints who you have lived amidst.”
Bishop Hurley said he was privileged to have Archbishop Faulkner as the principal consecrator at his ordination as Bishop of Port Pirie in 1999. “I have always been grateful for the inspiration he has been to me as a model of pastoral care and especially for his support and wise advice in my early years as a bishop,” he said.
“Here we are now celebrating his golden jubilee as bishop – that would have to be an automatic entry into heaven,” he said.
“What a wonderful and extraordinary achievement and what a testament to God’s unfailing love and Len’s commitment and fidelity.
“This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Townsville and the church in Australia are indebted to you Archbishop and we pray today for the God-given graces that you have received and for your enduring and joyful fidelity.”
Homily by Bishop Hurley