I mentioned in the last posting that I had a few things to mention but not just then!! I’ve been away for a few days, around the ordination of a friend of mine, Bob Brennan, as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre. This is the diocese and the parish I have been coming to since 1997 and I’ve known Bob since first coming to the cathedral in 1999. Recently, along with a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Neslon Perez), Bob was named as an Auxiliary Bishop of his home diocese. He kindly invited me to come to his ordination and I was happy to accept the invitation. Bob’s roots are in Co. Sligo – his mother’s people coming from Dromore West. I was glad to meet some of his family over the days, not least those who travelled from Dromore West.
It was a lovely few days, with Evening Prayer in the Cathedral the night before the Ordination. Archbishop Charles Chaput, Philadelphia preached a fine homily on the relationship between the bishop of a diocese and his auxiliary bishops. The Liturgy was really well organised and the music and prayer combined to lift the heart and spirit at the same time. During the liturgy, Bishop William Murphy blessed the rings, mitres and croziers of the new bishops.
The cathedral was filled to capacity for the ordination, with two Cardinals, around forty bishops, two hundred priests and maybe hundred deacons taking part in the entrance procession. It was lovely to see both sets of parents of the men being ordained there to see this special moment in their sons’ lives.
Certainly there was joy all around and my prayer for Bob – Bishop Brennan – and his fellow bishop, Bishop Perez, is that they will know, share and live that joy always. There’s no doubt the drama of yesterday will soon abate and the memories of that day will have to sustain them on what very well may be more difficult and uncertain days. God Bless them both.
I will leave Bob and Nelson with a lovely Irish hymn, sung by Rita Connolly. I posted it on this blog a few months ago, when she sang it at the inauguration of Ireland’s new President, Michael D Higgins. Someone just sent me a link to a more recent recording of her singing this piece. I think the quality is better than the original posting so we’ll commend the two new bishops to St Patrick’s prayer for God’s guidance and protection ….