Bishop Michael Dooley has returned to Dunedin diocese and has resumed his duties as bishop after taking some time away.
On May 3, Bishop Dooley wrote a letter addressed to his “dear brothers and sisters in Christ” announcing that he would spend some time away from the diocese for personal and spiritual renewal.
Referring to the two years since his ordination and installation as Bishop of Dunedin, Bishop Dooley wrote that he had “been inspired by all the ways that ministry takes place in Otago and Southland”.
“While there have been many blessings that come with being your bishop, it has been a particularly harrowing and testing time for me personally.”
In a new letter, published in the July edition of the Dunedin diocese newsletter, Bishop Dooley stated that “as from 8th July 2020 I am back in Dunedin diocese and taking up again my duties as bishop”.
He wrote that his decision to take time away “was not an easy decision for me to make, but looking back it was the right one for my ongoing health”.
“This experience has reminded me that when I am in difficulty then I need to reach out for help from others and most of all for help from God,” Bishop Dooley wrote. “This is a message that I believe is important for us all to be aware of, especially in the difficult times we live in.”
He added: “I am very grateful for the prayers and messages of support that I received from many of you during my time away.”
Bishop Dooley thanked Dunedin diocese vicar general Fr Gerard Aynsley for representing him during his time away.
The bishop wrote that he is looking forward to travelling around the diocese to visit parishes and schools and seeing as many people as he can.
“This year of 2020 has been a challenging year for us all but with the support of each other and with God’s grace we move forward with hope.”