Bishop Gregory Homeming was presented with the Torch-Bearer Award on May 29, 2017, at a reception hosted by Trinity College Lismore.
The Bishop humbly accepted the award on behalf of the Diocese of Lismore, which extends along the northern coast of NSW from Tweed Heads in the North, to Port Macquarie in the South. He reminded us in his acceptance speech, that the diocese has been in existence for over 100 years, whereas he has been its Bishop for a matter of months.
His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Fr Gregory Homeming OCD as the Sixth Bishop of Lismore and upon his ordination as Bishop, on February 22, 2017, he became the first Chinese-Australian Bishop.
He graduated with Law and Economics degrees from Sydney University in 1981 and worked as a lawyer for a number of years. As such, he could have made a comfortable life for himself in the corporate arena.
However, in 1985, his life took a different path when he joined the Discalced Carmelite Order. (The Discalced Carmelite Order was founded by St Teresa of Avila in 1562 with the help of St John of the Cross in 1568. Friars and nuns of this contemplative order wear only sandals or go barefoot.)
At Bishop Homeming’s ordination, Archbishop Fisher said, “There is a providence in God calling a man like Greg, with his legal background, critical intelligence, spiritual wisdom, pastoral sensitivity, and gentle soul to help lead us forward at this time.”
Following his ordination, Bishop Homeming told the congregation, “I am your bishop; with the emphasis on ‘your’. I belong to you. I will listen to you, and together we will discern God’s will for our diocese.”
Just over a month after Bishop Gregory Homeming took office, devastating floods hit Lismore and the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Immediately, the new Bishop launched the Diocese of Lismore Flood Appeal. “It is our duty to do whatever we can to help those most in need at this time,” he said. The Bishop wants the communities of the NSW North Coast to know that the Catholic Church is with them in their struggles.