Monday, February 06, 2012

Sentire Cum Ecclesia, Pacific Edition

Our Catholic Shot of the Day comes from the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where Saturday saw the ordination of Capuchin Fr Don Lippert, a Pittsburgh native, as the new bishop of Mendi.

Some 3,000 people gathered for an exuberant outdoor Mass launching Lippert as head of the 72,000-member diocese, which was held on the cathedral grounds due to the overflow crowd. (Above, locals in tribal garb are shown processing the insignia with which the new bishop was invested.)

A protege of Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley -- who performed the ordination -- the 54 year-old prelate served in the leadership of the community's Eastern US province before being dispatched to the Pacific half-island in 2007. Prior to those assignments, Lippert served for several years as director of Washington's Centro Católico for the Hispanic community, where he succeeded O'Malley (who founded the center in the 1970s) and Bishop Kevin Farrell, now the head of the 1.2 million-member Dallas church.

Described by a confrere as a "tireless" "hard worker... [who] rarely takes days off," Lippert has reportedly selected "To Think With the Church" (read: Sentire cum ecclesia) as his motto.

And just in case anybody forgot that it's a big church to think along with, well, here's your reminder.

From a world away, yet still the same fold, congrats and best wishes to the new bishop and his people.