Friday, October 19, 2007

Doing the Rowing

The Providence Journal's aforementioned mega-series chronicling a year in the life of Bishop Thomas Tobin has begun rolling out -- the Prologue and Part One of "An American Bishop: Inside the World of One Cathedral Square" are live, with three audio slideshows also up and running.

On Monday, a day after the 11-part series' kickoff runs in the paper's Sunday editions, the bishop will sit with the writer behind it, the ProJo's G. Wayne Miller, for an hourlong webchat on its website beginning at 1pm.

The first piece is too intense -- and worthwhile -- to snip up here, but let this quote from Tobin, explaining the various elements that make up his workspace, suffice:
The bishop has a photograph of his parents on his ordination day. A shot of him with his dog. With immigrants at a 2006 rally in Providence. With the Dalai Lama at Salve Regina University. The papal declaration naming him auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh. The decree that brought him to Providence.

In the middle of it all, the bishop has placed a cartoon of a long sculling boat with several rowers, only one of whom is actually rowing. He sometimes uses it when he’s asked the question: What’s it like to be a bishop? “It’s sort of like this,” he will say. “Everybody’s hollering at you and one person’s doing the rowing, instead of the other way around. That gives me a little comfort every once in a while!”
PHOTO: Mary Murphy/Providence Journal