Weekend Notes – January 10-11
Something to ponder: Among my reading this week has been The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church by Pope Francis. The book contains a number of his allocutions, addresses and sermons. Words from his homily on the Solemnity of Pentecost, May 19, 2013 have given a lot to think about during this time of transition:
“In the light of this passage from Acts, I would like to reflect on three words linked to the working of the Holy Spirit: newness, harmony and mission.
Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, program and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness – God always brings newness -, and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of novelty for novelty’s sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom, as is so often the case in our own day. The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new? We would do well to ask ourselves these questions all through the day.”
– I attended Bishop Don Hying’s installation last week in Gary IN. It was great to be with him as he is a friend and a real faith-filled and joyful man. I was very happy for him and for the people of the Diocese of Gary as they are getting a great bishop. But, as you can guess, I also got to watch a kind of “rehearsal” (for me at least) of my own installation. And I took notes…
– One touch that I have added to the beginning of the Installation Mass is that I will stand with the priests of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis while the papal bull of appointment is read and words of welcome are spoken by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Viganò. Until that moment, I am of their presbyterate. I want to stand with them so as to acknowledge how blessed I have been to be a member of their priestly fraternity. They have been wonderful to me over the past four years in which I have served, with them, the people of God in Indiana. I will miss them. At the end of the Archbishop’s remarks I will move from them and stand in the midst of my new community – the clergy, religious, and people of the Diocese of Burlington.
– Plans are being finalized for the video broadcast of both Evening Prayer the night before and the Installation Mass itself. Both will be live-streamed on the Diocesan website with the Mass of Installation being carried live as well on EWTN and CatholicTV.
– Finally, the movers are coming this Wednesday and I hope to be in Vermont next weekend. Given the weather we’ve been having here in Indiana, it will be good to be going to some place warm for a change.
(Although I will miss the walks around the parish property at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New Albany.)