by Ed Wilkinson
Everyone agrees that the recent episcopal ordinations of Bishops Chappetto and Sanchez went flawlessly. From the moment that the leaders of the procession stepped out of Our Lady of Angels School onto 74th St. to the time the lights went out after the reception in the gymnasium, the schedule proceeded like clockwork. No blips, no delays. Very smooth.
There’s plenty of credit to go around, but particular mention must be made of the organizational skills of Bishop Frank Caggiano, who headed up the planning committee that had been meeting for months in preparation for the big day.
Conducting an event such as the ordinations requires lots of preparation. Guest lists must be compiled. Invitations must go out. Tickets need to be printed. Seating charts must be designed.
Parking is always a tricky issue, especially in an urban setting such as Bay Ridge where Our Lady of Angels Church is located. Parking for the 25 bishops in attendance would be handled by the parish lot. In a spirit of working together, the neighboring parish of St. Anselm’s and Xaverian H.S. each allowed use of their parking facilities. Complimentary shuttle bus service was set up to bring participants to the church. The local police precinct cordoned off sections of Fourth Ave. as well as 73rd and 74th Sts. to handle the vehicles of the rest of the attendees.
To broadcast the ceremony live, NET, the diocesan television station, hired extra help to ensure proper lighting of the church and providing the correct signal back to the Park Slope studios. Wiring had to be installed to connect cameras and the remote trailer studio was set up on the 73rd St. side of the church.
Outside press also had to be accommodated. An opportunity was provided for print and TV reporters to meet the new bishops after the liturgy had been completed.
Most importantly, the liturgy had to be celebrated in a dignified and reverent way. Enter Father Frank Tumino, the chairman of the diocesan liturgical committee, to assure that the rites of ordination were done properly.
Several people told me later that they had never attended an ordination before and were so impressed with the movements and meaning of the various ceremonies within the liturgy.
The music under the able direction of Emmanuel Bologna and Joseph Smith was majestic, celebratory and prayerful. The voices of the Diocesan Vicariate Choir were as magnificent as we have come to expect.
Msgr. Kevin Noone and Our Lady of Angels parish were gracious hosts. Parish staff were on hand every moment of the day to help with set-ups and directions.
Each phase of the operation required a committee, a chairman and members, the names of who were contained in a 16-page pamphlet distributed that day. They are too numerous to mention here, but they all deserve a big round of applause. Ushers, drivers, food servers and security rose to the occasion to make this a day when the whole diocese rejoiced because we had two new bishops.
Lastly, the personalities of our new auxiliaries led to the joy of the ceremony. Their smiles, their steadiness and their stability brought a quiet confidence that these are men who will serve the diocese well. There was no question that good choices had been made, a sure sign that the Spirit was alive and well guiding this moment in diocesan history from beginning to completion.