Our heartfelt prayers and best wishes to Bishops-elect Raymond Chappetto and Paul Sanchez. We could not be prouder or more grateful to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for selecting these two humble, dedicated men who, despite the many positions in which they have been serving our diocese over the years, remain parish priests at heart.
News typically travels quickly in Brooklyn. Rarely do such announcements succeed in evading the rumor radar for the week-long period between the nuncio’s first calls and the official publication that surprised visitors to the Vatican News Service early Wednesday morning last week. The timing was excellent. Later that same day, at a convocation which had been previously scheduled in Douglaston, priests of the diocese were able to congratulate their two brothers who will become Brooklyn’s next auxiliary bishops.
While is heartening to be able to rejoice in the episcopal leadership to be anticipated from these two outstanding priests, it would be naive not to acknowledge that the Church faces formidable challenges to its teachings and organizational stability both from within and outside our own house. Both of these men are noted for their patience, charity and compassion. This will continue to serve them – and us – well.
In recent years especially, Msgr. Chappetto, as Vicar for Clergy, and Msgr. Sanchez, as Vicar for Queens, have been tried and tested in the field of the ever-changing structures and personnel networks within our diocese as economics, demographics and the unabated influence of our secularized cultural impact on how we evangelize. Thus we owe our newest bishops-to-be not only our profound respect but also our sustained prayer and support. They will certainly need it.
No one should in any way diminish the honor of being chosen to be a successor of the Apostles. Yet we bear in mind the example shown by Jesus to his relationships with his closest disciples. Peter himself initially rejected the gesture of his Lord and Savior who lowered himself to wash his feet at the Last Supper. So also, we are all reminded of the model the Lord sets for those who are to shepherd his flock. It is one to be exercised not as the world would expect – looking down from a position of honor or power – but on one’s knees looking up. Everything we have come to expect from witnessing the ministries of our new bishops-designate throughout the years strengthens our hearts and souls with the trust that we will continue to be blessed by the inspiration of their good example. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice!
The ‘Cool’ Media
One picture is worth a thousand words. Truth to tell, while traditional catechesis has used the “hot” media of sermons, books and bulletins, it is through the “cool” media of TV and videos that our people receive most of their information. The Catholic Communication Campaign is all about the “new” media which our Holy Father has encouraged Catholics to use.
A good example of how effective this Campaign can be is found at a very simple website: www.bustedhalo.com/video/eucharist. The Campaign Collection helps support such activities as this one of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle. Check it out!