Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Prophet, Witness, Servant"

At Tuesday's ordination of one of his two new auxiliaries for Canada's largest local church, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto preached a challenging catechesis on the bishop and his ministry, especially in moments of crisis, that won raves from many on-hand to hear it.

Before all else, the homily's subtext bears noting: this week's rites elevating Bishops Bill McGrattan and Vincent Nguyen were the True North's first since late September's sudden resignation of Bishop Raymond Lahey of Antigonish, only after which it emerged that the Nova Scotia prelate had been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography. (Lahey's quickly-named successor, Bishop Brian Dunn, will be installed in a low-key liturgy on the 25th.)

A Scripture scholar, longtime formator and sometime retreat-master for Stateside clerics now approaching his third anniversary at the 1.7 million-member TO church's helm, Collins turns 63 at the weekend. Last week, Pope Benedict named the media-friendly cleric to the membership of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The archbishop's fulltext is below.... Considering the frequent temptation to focus more on the office's prestige than its responsibilities, it's an especially useful read.

The shot above comes from yesterday's ordination (audio/photos) of Nguyen, Canada's first-ever Asian prelate, whose moving story of faith, family, fortitude and firsts has garnered national coverage.

PHOTO: Archdiocese of Toronto