Thursday, August 12, 2010

"An awakening to the Gospel"

I had the honor and the privilege of attending the Installation Mass of Bishop William P. Callahan yesterday afternoon. It was a breathtaking liturgy, one of the most beautiful I have ever attended. Dr. Brian Luckner and his choir were accompanied by an orchestra and filled the cathedral with the most beautiful music, a sound certainly befitting of such a blessed event.

Bishop Callahan delivered a theologically deep and passionate homily about Christ as the central focus in our lives and the gift of His Church in unifying His believers. I have included some of my favorite parts in the following collection of quotes:

“God speaks to us in our humanity, in the performance of our ordinary daily tasks. We have come to know by our faith and our direct experience that God is not an ‘intruder’ from outside the human condition imposing Himself upon humanity; rather, God has revealed Himself as one with the human condition, radically and profoundly present in the mystery of human life and experience.”

“Throughout history Jesus continues to speak through His Church and its apostolic witnesses. Today the Church marks with great joy the feast of St. Clare, the Virgin and the companion of St. Francis of Assisi. The witness value of their lives of holy poverty in obedience to the Gospel continues to inspire people of all ages with a vision of hope that is born from the truth of its teachings and the reality of its practice in daily human life. The marrow of the Gospel continues to give life and hope because it is born from the teachings and the life of Christ Himself. It is not mere philosophy or a self-help program; it is the very essence of human need, fulfillment, and the blueprint of our very destiny.”

“Christ is, and always must be the starting point of our faith! It is He who sets our human compass; it is He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is He who in the face-to-face communication with the Father shares an authentic and personal dialogue of love. This Trinitarian companionship forms the grist of the establishment of all life and most certainly is the epicenter of the formation of the Church.”

“In sending forth of the apostles, Trinitarian love is articulated and becomes fully expressed in the apostolic life and mission of the Church. The invitation to witness to Christ begins with sharing His—Trinitarian—life and work of bringing the Gospel to all creatures. From the beginning, Our Blessed Lord chose human companions to be with Him in the task of establishing His Church. He sent them out to call others to penance, to heal the sick, and to proclaim the Good News. He sent them out together so that they might have the strength of fraternity, the assurance of protection on the way, and the guarantee that the integrity of the message would remain true and verifiable. This apostolic nature of the Church remains intact to this day and is fulfilled particularly in and through the ministry of bishops for the authentic sanctification, education, and leadership of God’s people.”

“As we gather in this beautiful cathedral today, we witness a ceremony that is different from other rites of passage or the mere ‘passing of the baton’ to a new chief executive officer. This is an event that affects all of our lives throughout this diocese. The recognition of a new Shepherd for this local Church is truly meant to be an awakening to the Gospel—an awakening that stirs devotion and love, honor and service to Jesus Christ – the focal point and the only true constant in our lives.”

It is apparent from these words of Bishop Callahan that he is eager to get to work. What a great gift to be given a bishop that is so full of the energy and the passion of Christ! It will be wonderful to experience the flourish of life that will come out of this diocese under the leadership of Bishop Callahan.


  1. I also liked how he mentioned assisting certain orders within the diocese to recapture their true identity.

    I agree, great homily by our new shepherd.

  2. Yes. Another reason why he is so great for our diocese in this time especially.

  3. I'm jealous over here! Wish I could have been there! Wish he could have stayed! I know that you will all be very good to him and keep him in your prayers!