Today is the feast of St Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists.

I imagine it’s no coincidence that Pope Benedict chose this day to announce that he is appointing Fr Paul Bird, a Redemptorist priest, the eighth bishop of Ballarat.

There’s not much I can add to the official CV. Editor of The Majellan magazine for 20 years; provincial of the Australian Redemptorists for 4. You can read the official stuff at the diocesan website.

I think Ballarat will have the only bishop in Australia who has composed his own mass setting. You can listen to the Mass of St Alphonsus at the Redemptorist website. (If the recordings evoke something of Paul Taylor’s more widespread Mass of St Francis, that’s probably because Paul Taylor is the organist in both recordings, and Larissa Cairns the cantor.)

I wonder if the Mass of St Alphonsus will echo around St Patrick’s Cathedral at Fr Bird’s ordination to the episcopacy? It’s not until 16 October, so there’s plenty of time to learn it!