Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ordination Week in SoDak

Bishop-elect Paul Swain hasn't even been ordained yet -- that happens on Thursday -- and, already, the new head of the diocese of Sioux Falls got served with the now-famous "let's just sue everybody" disclosure filing.

Sure, the lawyers may want you to know that Bishop Skylstad "was served [both] as Bishop of Spokane and again as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops." However, as a civil legal beagle and onetime general counsel to the governor of Wisconsin, Swain's among the few who can unpack the thing head-on.

As the big day approaches, get ready for the usual bundle of laudatory stories and other incoming-episcopal coverage... albeit with a twist. A piece that ran in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader at September's end featured this joshing assessment of the new bishop, given by a colleague from his government days: "He's terrible at returning phone calls.... His rule was, if it's really serious, they'll call three times. The rest of us are jumping on every call, and he's very cool."

Does that work for e.mails?

Thursday's ordination in Soo Foo's St Joseph's Cathedral will be televised and, for the benefit of the wider church, webcast; it all begins at 2pm local time (1900GMT). Check the diocesan site for more info. The local metropolitan, Archbishop Harry Flynn of St Paul-Minneapolis, will serve as principal consecrator, assisted by Swain's predecessor, Bishop Robert Carlson of Saginaw and Bishop William Bullock, emeritus of his home diocese of Madison.