Monday, March 02, 2009

Leading Beyond the Storm

Named to Biloxi early today, here's Bishop Roger Morin's opening statement to the church in southern Mississippi:
I wish to express profound gratitude to the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI who has called me to serve the good people of the Church in the Diocese of Biloxi. I am humbled by the confidence placed in me by our Holy Father and I willingly commit to do my utmost in ministerial service to shepherd the Faithful who have been entrusted to my care.

I ask for the prayerful support of the clergy, religious and laity who will be my co-workers in this vineyard of the Lord here in southern Mississippi. I fervently pray for us to go forward together witnessing to God’s love for us as we show a loving care and concern for one another.

I come before you as one who has already been your neighbor for the more than 40 years of my service to the Church in New Orleans. I come before you as one who has weathered the fearsome storms of years gone-by. Like so many members of this local church and the communities along the Gulf Coast, I am a survivor of hurricane Katrina. Like so many of the local residents, I personally experienced losses causes by wind and water. And, like so many of you, I have come to know the frustrations and aggravations entailed in the process of recovery and rebuilding that stands, for us, on the firm foundations of faith and hope as bases for an optimistic belief in a better future for our church and our communities.

The trials and tribulations of disastrous storms have not weakened my faith but have instead strengthened it. The experience of personal losses has not deprived me of hope because hope has been deepened by the experience of bounteous blessings brought by so many who have offered assistance in a loving and caring manner. With my own experiences of stormy weather and personal losses, I greet with open arms, the opportunity to meet with God’s help, the challenges remaining ahead of us. May God bless us all.