Friday, February 17, 2006

Bishop Randy

Two days past his own mega-installation, Archbishop George Niederauer will preside over his first episcopal ordination today, elevating 55 year-old Fr. Randolph Calvo, heretofore a priest of San Francisco, to the bishopric of Reno.

The ceremony, in the Hilton Hotel Pavillion, will feature the presence of Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, a score of other prelates and a flood of Calvo's friends and admirers flocking across state lines in tribute. Ostensibly, Calvo's bischofvater, Archbishop Levada, will also be in the house -- the usual Friday CDF audience with the Pope was handled today by the Congregation's secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato.

The new archbishop of the Bay City won't have to worry about preaching duties, however. That privilege falls to Calvo's mentor, the retired San Francisco Archbishop John Raphael Quinn, who named the bishop-elect his vicar general at the exceptionally young age of 37.

The Reno Gazette-Journal has coverage:

Warm, understanding, pastoral and spiritual were just a few of the words [parishioners] used to describe the man they endearingly call Father Randy.

Dolores Hodges, chairperson of the liturgy committee at Mt. Carmel, is among the parishioners who said they plan to attend the three-hour ceremony.

"I'd go if I had to walk," she said. "He is the most wonderful pastor I've ever come across."

Hodges said she collected twice the amount of money she needed from parishioners for the miter-shaped ring that she will present to him with two other members of the parish during the ceremony.

"People were so generous and wanted to give him so much," she said. "We were his only parish." ....

"I think the church needs people like Randy," [Deacon Tom] Boyle said. "He can see the problems from a parishioner's point of view. I think that makes him a very valuable asset to the church. I know he will be a great bishop."

When chaplains were having difficulty gaining access to inmates in the county jail, Calvo got involved, said Lorraine Moriarty, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County.

His legal experience came in handy, she said.

"He's really deeply committed to the church's social justice agenda," she said. "Father Calvo was willing to speak out on the injustices that were happening with the incarcerated as a result of lack of access for pastoral staff."

Moriarty said she admires how he relates to people.

"He is at our level," she said. "He hasn't distanced himself from his flock. He's very caring, aware and wise. I think most people thought he should have been a bishop a long time ago."

So we've got new bishops who are actually going to work with people as opposed to screaming at them. Wow. Che bello sviluppo!

No need to fear, Americans. As James Alison put it the other day, it's just ordinary Catholicism breaking out again under Benedict XVI.

Reno Gazette-Journal/Diocese of Reno