Monday, May 21, 2007

A Day in the Wuerlpool

Though he was appointed to Washington a year ago last week, Pittsburgh's still keeping a close (and fond) eye on its native son and eleventh ordinary, now Archbishop Donald Wuerl.

Recently -- in a May Sweeps coup -- the Steel City's NBC affiliate traveled to DC to spend a day with Wuerl, and quite a day it was -- his keynote appearance at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, a White House meeting with President Bush on the future of Catholic education, and the annual dinner of the capital's John Carroll Society.

As B16's most prominent US appointee to date mused on politicians, Pennsylvania and potholes, it's worth noting that, referring to the hometown where he led the church for 18 years, Wuerl -- systematic in his thinking and precise in his language -- still says "we." That the 66 year-old prelate misses the 'Burgh much is no secret; having made several trips back over the last year, he returned most recently to receive an honorary doctorate from St Vincent's University, located at the Benedictine archabbey in Latrobe.

Of course, since Wuerl's transfer to Washington, the city's hasn't just been missing Wuerl but, in more general terms, a diocesan bishop. The wait continues and, as things stand, is looking to stretch through the summer... if not longer.

Then again, as the locals keep saying, "We already have a bishop..."

...and just because his mandate is on an interim basis doesn't mean his stock isn't rising.