Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Louisville Hits the Wire

Roma locuta… and it’s official: heavily-favored Knoxville takes The (Catholic) Run for the Roses.

Joseph Kurtz becomes the eighth successor to Man O’ Faith (Benedict Flaget, the founding prelate of the American frontier); Overbrook stable gets its second Kentucky metropolitan in the last three runnings…

…and, in the press box, the Secretariat-grade reportage didn’t come from the hometown Courier-Journal, either.

And there's a more-recent photo, to boot.

After praying with the priest-consultors of his new charge – a moment reportedly arranged at his own request – the fourth archbishop of Louisville will meet the press in a 10.30am news conference at his pastoral center. He’ll likely receive his winner’s saddle – the metropolitan’s pallium – from the hands of B16 in just over two weeks’ time.

SVILUPPO: Installation set for 15 August, feast of the Cathedral of the Assumption.

Outgoing Archbishop Thomas Kelly OP on his successor: "His work in family ministry and on life issues with the bishops’ conference will resonate with the people of Kentucky who have such a strong sense of family and community. Bishop Kurtz has demonstrated that he will be a bishop of virtue and talent — a father to us all....

"I wish him all the best as he pastors this wonderful local church; I cannot imagine a better match for the Archdiocese of Louisville."

And the statement of the archbishop-elect:
With trust in the grace of Jesus Christ and in the Providential Plan of our Heavenly Father, I accept the appointment of His Holiness Benedict XVI as the Archbishop of Louisville with eagerness and joy. Pledging my filial obedience and fraternal affection to our Holy Father, I will seek a pastoral leadership of unity in truth and charity that marks his leadership in his care of the Universal Church.

Deeply grateful for the Grace of Baptism and Holy Orders and for the continued privilege to serve Christ and His faithful as a bishop, I rely on that grace as I firmly and totally commit myself to minister to the need of the people of God in the Archdiocese of Louisville, in collaboration with my brother priests. I am eager to meet all the priests and all those who minister to the faithful of the archdiocese and to love and serve with them, seeking the unity in truth and in charity that echoes the prayer of Jesus as well as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s motto: “United we stand; Divided we fall.” May the Lord Jesus give me the grace to proclaim the Good News with vigor; to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries, most especially the Holy Eucharist, with reverence, devotion and joy; and to provide pastoral leadership in truth and with pastoral charity. Aware of the deep foundation of Catholicism in the See of Louisville, and its roots in Bardstown, I approach the 200th anniversary of its foundation with joy, gratitude and eagerness for a renewal in Christ.

I am thankful to Archbishop Kelly for the fraternity and support he has fostered in the seven years in which he has served as my metropolitan. I look forward to showing the same pastoral charity and affection to the people of Louisville as he has shown, always respecting the dignity of each of the faithful. Likewise I seek to foster a unity that is truly ecumenical and one that respects interfaith opportunities. I look forward to making my home in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the beautiful city of Louisville.

I pledge my fraternal support and friendship to my brother bishops of the Province of Louisville and pledge to continue the sterling commitment by Archbishop Kelly to foster unity in Christ.

Giving thanks to Almighty God for the great privilege to serve as bishop of Knoxville, I extend my love and gratitude to the faithful of Knoxville, most especially brother priests, deacons, and the men and women of the consecrated life. These seven years have been blessings to me, and I rely on their prayers and ongoing affection as I pledge my own.

With great anticipation, I await my installation as Archbishop on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August 2007. This date is so apt in that it is the Patronal Feast of the Cathedral and coincides with the Thirtieth Anniversary of Archbishop Kelly’s Episcopal Ordination. May all that we do be entrusted to Mary, our Mother, who never fails to lead us to her Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus.

Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:25