Thursday, May 10, 2007

In Memoriam: Bishop Lawrence Scanlan

Today, 10 May, marks the day ninety-two years ago when our great pioneer bishop, the Rt. Rev. Lawrence Scanlan "in the presence of attending sisters . . . raised his cross to his lips, kissed it, and peacefully died. Fittingly, in honor of his last request, he was interred beneath the sanctuary of St. Mary Magdalene's, the cathedral he helped to build." All Catholics in the Diocese of Salt Lake City owe a tremendous debt to this great man, who, in imitation of our Lord, emptied himself, poured out his life, for others, not just of his own day- though through his travels by horseback to administer the sacraments in small towns and mining camps he did plenty- but for those, like us, who, throughout generations, are beneficiaries of his work. He died quite uncertain about the future of the Church in Utah, how it must gratify him to look down and see what God has done through his labors. As St. Paul wrote to the Church he and Apollos established in Corinth: "neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Cor 3,7-9).

Of course, we are celebrating his life today at the Cathedral. As a priest and a bishop he had no biological children, but we are his children and, as such, we have a duty to remember and pray for him, just as we have an obligation to pray for all of our departed priests and religious, who have served us well and faithfully. It also behooves us to ask them for their prayers and intecessions.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Scott, for the beautiful post on Bishop Scanlan. May he enjoy eternal refreshment. He truly built up the Kingdom on Earth.

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