As many of you know with the announcement of Rev Douglas Lucia as the new Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse the connection between the north country diocese of Ogdensburg and the diocese of Syracuse will continue.
Bishop Robert Cunningham who originally hailed from Buffalo was the Bishop in Ogdensburg for sometime before he began his service with us here in 2009.
Many of the priests here in our diocese (myself included ) have fond memories of time spent in the north country as many of us attended Wadhams hall seminary-college located in Ogdensburg on the banks of the beautiful St Lawrence river.
I recall the days and time spent in classrooms and study halls and the chapel but also enjoyed the sites and sounds of that beautiful part of our state with the Adirondack mountains only a few miles away for hiking and skiing. And if you wished to leave the state for a foreign country and the big city with an international flavor Ottawa was only about 50 miles away.
Certainly our prayers go out to bishop Cunningham in thanksgiving for his service among us these past 10 years and our prayers also go out to our bishop- elect Lucia as he prepares for his formal installation as bishop on Aug. 8.
Becoming a bishop these days must be a daunting task but I’m sure with his background and training and spirituality and experience he will be just great.
His becoming bishop reminds me of when President Roosevelt died and President Truman paid respects to Eleanor the first lady to express his condolences he was heard to say “Is there anything I can do for you?” and she replied “Is there anything I can do for you, as you are the one in trouble now.” So I think the bishop elect needs the efforts of us all in this task of leadership he has been called to.
A bishop who carries a shepherds staff (called a crozier) into ceremonies reminds me of the 23rd Psalm and the phrase “the lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want ...in verdant pastures he gives me repose, near restful waters he leads me and refreshes my soul.”
So our hope and prayer for Bishop Lucia is that he is a kind and good shepherd of the faithful here especially as the church continues to face all kinds of challenges both from within its parishes and organizations and from the outside world and a very secular culture.
As I recall from church history class many years ago the church has a ‘theandric‘ character which means that is both Godly and very human at the same time.
The Vatican council from 1962-1965 reminded us (and especially her leadership) to read the “signs of the times” so that we might be able to respond to the needs and struggles, hope and dreams of people today in their real lives and offer them the peace, joy and hope and courage that comes from being a follower of Christ .
On the personal side it will be good to work with a bishop younger than I am so when I go in to see him and talk about parish life he will not only be able to guide me in this area but most likely will be able to help me if I have a question about my new Google pixel 3 cell phone thats been giving me a few headaches the past few weeks. Time will tell!
Welcome Bishop Douglas Lucia!