Thursday, March 15, 2007

These past few days


The last two days have been some of the most powerful experiences I have had as a member of the Body of Christ. I renewed old acquaintances, met new people, especially many bishops. We are so blessed to have so many shepherds who truly seek to emulate the Good Shepherd. It was a special pleasure to finally meet Archbishop Pietro Sambi in person. He is the Holy Father's personal repsentative to the Church in the United States, as well as the Holy See's ambassador to the U.S. government.

Finally, it was a privilege and a joy to serve as Master of Ceremonies for Bishop Wester's Installation Mass. It was great to joke around with Archbishop Niederauer before Mass. It was a nice blending of what was and what is come. It would be impossible for me to transcribe my experiences into words. In fact putting all my experiences into words is not necessary, or even desirable (Okay, those of who know me can quit laughing now). The picture below better communicates the joy of these past few days.



As Archbishop Niederauer said last evening in a speech at a dinner for Bishop Wester, now that these events are concluded, it is time for us get on with the joyful task of "being Church in Utah." And so it is under the leadership of Bishop Wester that we continue this sacred task, the fulfillment of our baptismal vocation, which is both a grace and a joy.

The occasion was made even more joyous by the presence of civic leaders and ecumenical leaders, all of whom I had the great privilege of introducing to Bishop Wester. Among the civic leaders were Governor Huntsman, Mayor Anderson, Mayor Coroon, Police Chief Burbank, and the presence of our Episcopalian neigbors, led by Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish, and including our dear friends from "through the block", Fr. Rick Lawson, Rector of St. Mark's Cathedral (Episcopal), and Canon Carol Marsh, also from St. Mark's. Pastor Michael Imperial from First Presbyterian Church, our direct neighbor to the East, right across C Street from the Diocesan Pastoral Center, was also on-hand. I am not betraying a confidence by relating that Pastor Imperial said to Bishop Wester, "My office is across the street from yours. We can shout out the window to each other." Of course, the presence of President Monson of the LDS First Presidency and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, contributed much to the communal atmosphere of the celebration.


(Photos from the Salt Lake Tribune)

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