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23 April, 2013

We Have A Bishop!

One of the last things Pope Benedict XVI did before retiring was to name my boss/pastor an auxiliary bishop to Atlanta. If you have no idea how a bishop is named (like me a few months ago), watch this, its a super cute video on how to become pope, but since being a bishop one of the steps you'll learn all about that in the video.

I found out the news on a Vatican news Twitter account around 6:30am and it was immediately confirmed by Monsignor David via email to the staff.  He is the most humble, pastoral, and no-nonsense guy you've ever met.  He's the perfect choice and exactly what our Archdiocese needs. Our three bishops are so different yet they round each other out beautifully.
The Ordination Mass begins with a clergy procession.  I wish I had the final count but there were something like 50 seminarians, 80 deacons, 150 priests, and 13 bishops.  Check out this bishop from Florida, he's like 7 feet tall before the mitre. 

And our other auxiliary, Luis who was ordained a few weeks before my wedding.

And last but not least, our Archbishop, Gregory.

I've had the pleasure of attending several ordination Masses including deaconate, priestly, and episcopate.  Hands down the episcopal ordination is my favorite.  Besides the impressive clergy procession, here are my other favorite parts....

Presentation and reading of the Apostolic Letter (which is beautifully hand calligraphied totally made up that word).  It was unrolled and shown to the congregation and Archbishop. The words go like this:

The principal consecrator asks him:  Have you a mandate from the Holy See?
He replies:  We have.
Principal consecrator:  Let it be read.
Everyone sits while the document is read.

Then there is the pledge of bishops.  At a priestly ordination the pledge is directed at obedience to the bishop and service to the church.  This pledge is to the people of God and the order of bishops.  If you think wedding vows are overwhelming, this list of vows is absolutely incredibly beautiful.  These are a few of my favorite lines:

Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved to show kindness and compassion in the name of the Lord to the poor and to strangers and to all who are in need?
Bishop-elect:  I am.
Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved as a good shepherd to seek out the sheep who stray and to gather them into the fold of the Lord?
Bishop-elect:  I am.
Principal consecrator:  Are you resolved to pray for the people of God without ceasing, and to carry out the duties of one who has the fullness of the priesthood so as to afford no grounds for reproach?
Bishop-elect:  I am, with the help of God.
Principal consecrator:  May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.


Then, all the bishops circle around and lay hands to confer the Sacrament.  I think I overheard that at least three Bishops are needed to lay hands.  This is just to ensure that at least one of these bishops can trace their ordination linage back to St. Peter.

And then! Oh and then! The Book of Gospels is opened over the head of the bishop elect and the prayer of Ordination is prayed by the ordaining bishop.  My favorite line is:
So now pour out upon this chosen one the power that is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to his holy apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.
Watch this whole process in a short video of an actual ordination a few years ago.

Of course there are all the usual parts of a full Mass, including a beautiful homily by Archbishop Gregory.  My good friend and transitional Deacon, Dennis, served as Deacon of the Altar. And our parishes most newly ordained Deacon, Tom, served as Deacon of the Word. Such an honor for both men and our parish!

The Mass concluded with the new Bishop Talley blessing everyone.

It was quite possibly my most favorite liturgy ever.  Such a beautiful day and such an honor to be chosen as one of less than 100 lay people to sit inside the church.  Though it's super bittersweet, we miss having him as our pastor and boss.  And we're all walking on eggshells anxious for the new guy!

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