September 29 and 30
Just a few thoughts about the most amazing weekend in my 53 years.
As you might guess I woke up early on Saturday morning and was already composing emails before the embargo lifted and the secret of my appointment could be shared. I'm not sure how many emails and texts I sent but as I said in the Press Conference my iphone was overheating!!! Since that 5:00 AM opening of the floodgates it has been a blur of activity.
Wisely, Jim Smith (Finance Officer of the Diocese and a Huge support to me) suggested that Bishop Corrada and I should wait in his office until people were in place in the St. Paul Conference Room. It was a great quiet before the storm for Bishop Corrada and I to discuss a few things that we hadn't had the time to talk about.
I will always remember that image of the conference room when I walked in with Bishop Corrada and saw the crowd. It will always be for me a visual image of what OVERwhelming really means. I'm so glad that we have video of the PC because it was all a blur for me. It is nice to be able to go back and realize what actually happened. The rest of that day unfolded as a wonderful gift of the goodness of the people I have served for 27 years. Some of you may have kept up with a blog that had a slight influence in my life whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com
Rocco Palmo's posts there have been truly over the top but very gratefully received.
Sunday I joined Bishop Corrada for 10 and 1:30 mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. I can't describe the joy I felt in being assigned to serve this wonderful community for the 3rd time. First as a newly ordained assistant priest, second as Rector and now as the Bishop. Bishop Corrada was wonderfully gracious as he allowed me to take the principle post for distribution of communion and left the cathedra (official bishop's chair) empty as a symbol of waiting for my ordination when I will formally take it as the chair from which I will serve the 33 counties, 80,000 Catholics and over 1,000,000 souls in the Diocese of Tyler.
I'll share a funny moment before I close. As bishop elect I wear the pectoral cross and the zuchetto (the dark pink beanie) because the other symbols of the office of bishop the crozier, miter and episcopal ring are all given to the new bishop during the ordination liturgy. I've never worn hats or rings but I guess I will have to get used to both. I managed to keep the zuchetto on during the mass and as the Eucharistic prayer began I even remembered to remove it. My mistake came after communion. I was so anxious to remember to put the zuchetto back on that I put it on too early. The bishop does not put the zuchetto back on until the Blessed Sacrament has been returned to the tabernacle. Our great Master of Ceremonies, Vincent Meinzer, just looked at me and kind of waved his hand over is head.......I got the hint and blushing profusely tried to remove the zuchetto as unobtrusively as possible. Bishop Corrada was gracious enough to pretend he didn't even notice!!!!!I have a lot more to learn than the protocol for zuchettos but hopefully I've got that little detail memorized!!!!
Stayed tuned. More to come as this amazing journey unfolds. God bless you and let us pray for one another.