Monday, April 6, 2009

Hierarchy update

Keeping up the pace for a busy year in episcopal appointments, it was announced this morning that the Holy Father has named His Excellency, Bishop Paul Bradley, currently an auxiliary to Bishop Zubick in Pittsburgh, as the new bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo. Michigan. Bishop Bradley will take over the reigns from Bishop Albert Murray, whose resignation the Holy Father accepted. Bishop Murray turned 75 in July 2007.

With this appointment there remain five vacant sees in the U.S.: Cheyenne, Wyoming; Duluth, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Owensboro, Kentucky; St. Louis, Missouri.

However, the number of Latin rite bishops currently serving beyond the mandatory retirement age of 75 (i.e., bishops whose resignations the Holy Father has not accepted) is now eleven.

Archbishops Hughes of New Orleans; Curtiss of Omaha, NE; Brunett of Seattle, WA.

Bishops: D'Arcy of Ft. Wayne/South Bend, IN; Moynihan of Syracuse, NY; Tafoya of Pueblo, CO; Cullen of Allentown, PA: Higi of Lafayette in Indiana, Carmody of Corpus Christi, TX. Peña of Brownsville, TX, Skylstad of Spokane.

Let's keep in mind that Monday of Holy Week, which we can call Holy Monday, is only a contradiction if we allow it to be.

While we are on matters ecclesial, a priest of our diocese, Fr. Bill Flegge, passed away on Saturday after a fairly lengthy battle with cancer. Fr. Flegge is a great priest. He was the pastor of St. James parish, which is right across the street from where I grew up. Of course, I did not grow up Catholic. I did live at home for the better part of the year prior to getting married in 1992-93. So, he was my pastor during that time. He was a wonderful pastor, a great confessor, a priest who gave me support when I needed it. The support I needed is that my living at home was the first time I had spent a lot of time with my parents after having been baptized in 1990. In addition to just being a happy, gentle man, he, too, was a convert from the LDS church, a story that he shared with me in confession one time. It is interesting that the current pastor of St. James, Fr. Erik Reichstag, is also a convert from the LDS church. At the Cathedral, my brother deacon, Lynn Johnson is, too.

He was very practical and down-to-earth. St. James is located on north Harrison Blvd in Ogden. Harrison, along with Washington and Monroe, is a major street running the length of the city. However, Harrison bottle-necks into a one lane street a few miles south of the church. Needless to say, there was a lot of aggressive driving, trying to get ahead of the other car, just before the bottle-neck. I remember a homily he gave about putting others first. Well, he didn't have to look far for an example with which we could all identify! R.I.P.

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