Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy St. Mark's Day

You've got to love the Vatican humor of it: on the patronal feast of the Canal City, Venice got a new bishop.

Venice, Florida, that is.... Where gondolas are sight unseen.

Msgr. Frank Dewane, a priest of Green Bay serving as under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was named coadjutor of the one diocese in the world so eminent it encompasses both Venice and Naples.

Forgive the Italians if they seem confused.

Dewane, 56, one of those cherished "late vocations" who was ordained at 38, is an American University grad who got his Master's in international relations there. After ordination and seven years at home, he was sent on to the Holy See's mission to the UN in New York, where the then-Permanent Observer was Archbishop (now Cardinal) Renato Martino.

From the UN, Bishop-elect Dewane went back to Rome, where he had completed his STB and JCL a decade earlier. Three years at Cor Unum and in 2002 he was elevated to superior rank at Iustitia et Pax, where the then-new President was Archbishop (now Cardinal) Renato Martino.

Anyone see a trend here?

The local press pulled up this nugget...
Before becoming a priest in 1988, Dewane worked for a Pepsico subsidiary in New York and for NBC in Moscow.
...and they're making a lot about his expertise on immigration issues:

"He spoke in terms of immigration reform that has been such a big issue at this point in time in our country and the need to respect the human dignity of everyone," said Peter Arroyo, head of Catholic Charities for the diocese.

"It's good that he's been involved in those issues because he's going to be confronting them when he's here," Arroyo said. "We've got more immigrants here than most of the dioceses in the state of Florida put together."

Dewane's interest in social issues goes beyond immigration, however.

"He spoke to the challenge that faces the family and the disintegration of the family," Arroyo said.