Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More from Opryland

So, obviously, today's been Nashville day. And, in doing my customary review, Catholicism, though numerically small (71,000 people out of a population of 2.5 million) seems pretty vibrant in Midstate Tennessee.

For the life of me, though, I still can't figure how Edward Urban Kmiec, a Pole from Trenton, ended up as the bishop there for 12 years. Oh well, maybe it'll come to me someday, if I ever get to speak with Cacciavillan; all I know is that when Kmiec got up there and started speaking his parents' native tongue in Buffalo, everything clicked immediately.

Anyway, the diocese has announced that the ordination and installation of Bishop-elect David Choby will take place at Nashville's Italianate (and, hence, pleasing to the eyes) Cathedral of the Incarnation. The church seems to have enough capacity; given that he's a native son and the diocese's people are his people, it's not as if he'll be sucking up seats for 300 out-of-towners or anything, so the Cathedral setting (which, again, is the preference of the rite of episcopal ordination) will be able to work and work well. Date to be released.

One of Choby's predecessors, however, was ordained at the Grand Ole Opry House. Bishop James Niedergeses, who served from 1975-92, was the first (and, until today, only) native of the diocese to be named its ordinary. He's still kickin' at almost 89, and smart money says he'll serve as a co-consecrator at the ordination. (Remember the protocols -- as a native, Choby's got one of those coveted "wild card" slots to fill....)

On a side note, Bishop Niedergeses is marking his 60th anniversary as a priest, and the diocesan paper features a very sweet look back at his life and ministry with a lengthy profile and interview; the man's still ticking along as chaplain at a nursing home. God love him.