Locally and nationally, last week was a busy week in Bishopland. Let’s start at home.
The ordination Mass of Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying was a reminder that this man is a model of humility. Even though the limelight was on him, he showed no airs, no attitude. Just an appreciative soul who was genuinely humble in all he said and did. He’s a 4-H bishop: Humble, humorous, holy and happy. Just what one would expect from a successor to the apostles.
The one person who certainly could have gotten the spotlight to spin from Bishop Hying to himself was Archbishop Timothy “How you doin’, everybody? Good to see you!” M. Dolan. To his credit, the archbishop of New York didn’t. He smiled and nodded at members of his former flock during the processional and recessional at the Mass, but none of the waving, laughing and talking that endeared him to thousands here from 2002-2009.
Other post-ordination thoughts:
Bishop Hying is the first bishop ordained by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki.
A balcony seat in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist may have put one physically closer to heaven, but the temperature up there did make one think about the fires of hell. It is also difficult to hear up there — the balcony, not heaven — but that’s where the archdiocese places reporters and TV camera people.
The conversational tone with which the archbishop delivered his homily was easy to understand, particularly the emphasis on docility, generosity and holiness. He addressed his new auxiliary, but with words that could apply to everyone.
It’s already begun: Speaking of Archbishop Listecki, his name will appear as speculation continues regarding a successor for Cardinal Francis E. George when the latter turns 75 on Jan. 16, 2012, and submits his letter of resignation — as required by canon law.
With Archbishop Charles J. Chaput replacing the “bishop-maker” and mentor of Archbishop Dolan, Cardinal Justin F. Rigali in Philadelphia, attention has turned to who will be the next archbishop of Chicago. If the Holy See is looking for a Chicago native to succeed the Chicago native, Archbishop Listecki and Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta could be under consideration.
On the subject of the aforementioned change in Philadelphia, the following was part of a story posted on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website the day of the announcement: “As a matter of Cardinal Law, Rigali turned in his letter of resignation when he turned 75 in April 2010…” The reporter meant “canon law” not Cardinal Law, and he — the reporter, not the cardinal — corrected it, but the Freudian slip provided a bit of church humor nonetheless.
Fest test: Last summer, Milwaukee’s first archbishop of Polish descent celebrated Mass at PolishFest. This year, Archbishop Listecki has celebrated Mass at Festa Italiana, and will be doing the same for GermanFest, IrishFest and Fiesta Mexicana.
Congregations at fest Masses mirror those at parishes in at least one way: the number of people who arrive late and who leave early. If anyone can explain the late/early thing to me, please do, especially when it comes to fest Masses.
In the meantime, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if life seems too complicated, know that Simplify Your Life Week begins this coming Monday, Aug. 1.