"God Walks With Us"
As noted at the gathering's start, Bishop-elect Joe Bambera will be ordained and installed on Monday, 26 April at 2pm in the Electric City's St Peter Cathedral. While he'll technically continue until then as the delegate of the diocese's apostolic administrator, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Bambera's likely to immediately enjoy the full power of governance de facto following this morning's appointment.
It should stand as a particular underscore of the 53 year-old's uniquely standout qualifications for the post -- and the sizable trust being placed in him -- that the native son is the first Scranton pick in almost six decades to be given the seat without prior episcopal experience elsewhere.
And lastly, in keeping with the local context that played the dominant role in Bishop Joseph Martino's early retirement last summer, it's worth noting that secular politics never once came up during the ample question period for the media, which was instead dominated by the nuts-and-bolts of the diocese's governance.
While Bambera's tone marked a significant shift from that of his predecessor, the substance remained intact as the appointee took pains to underscore that the tough but needed administrative calls made by Bishop Joseph Martino would not be revisited. However furious the emotional fallout of the diocese's realignment of parishes and schools undertaken over recent years, the bishop-elect emphasized that the moves were a key component of strengthening the 350,000-member diocese's footing by adapting its structures for the future, and that it'd make little sense to reverse decisions reached only after significant consultation and planning.
SVILUPPO: Late in the day, fullvid likewise surfaced of the Ogdensburg presser with Bishop-elect Terry LaValley.
Normally, of course, we'd say "introducing"... as with Bambera, however, the locals already know the "new" sheriff rather well.
The first native son to lead the 150,000-member North Country church in nine decades, LaValley will be ordained and installed on 30 April.
PHOTO: Michael J. Mullen/Scranton Times-Tribune