Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Perfect Match"

Shreveport Times religion writer Diane Haag blogs that Bishop-elect Mike Duca's first day in his new diocese has been nothing short of a lovefest:
The Catholic Center was all smiles and twitters this morning as people through around words and phrases like affable, easy going, extroverted, perfect match and mission minded to describe the new bishop of Shreveport. Duca first appeared at a press conference and seemed very comfortable behind the microphone and willing to answer questions.

It could just be he was thrilled to finally admit the news. The papal nuncio called him two and a half weeks ago, and he was sworn to secrecy.

He also looked a little overwhelmed, like he was still trying to figure out exactly what he does next, but that's understandable. From what he said, he's clearly a man who believes God will lead him as he goes.
In another post, Haag includes more impressions, along with some press conference snips from the latest "Tony" to join the bench:
* He noted that everywhere he went people were smiling. I can verify. Everyone is thrilled to have him and I heard more than one person say something along the lines of "he's everything we wanted."

* He's Italian -- rare for a bishop in Louisiana -- and true to that he was already looking forward to trying local restaurants. Apparently, some of his family members own a deli in Dallas....

* Being a shepherd means he will "walk with the people, not so far ahead that they have to look up to you."

* He also celebrated his first Mass, surprising some of the regulars at the Cathedral's noon service. It was his first time to wear the purple (pink?) skull cap of the bishop, which he was a little resistant to until he was assured it was appropriate.

* In his homily, he referred to the first reading assigned for today from Acts, which talks about the early Christians sharing everything they owned.

"Those who are ordained are ordained to share that gift with the whole community," he said. "You begin to understand its not with the parish, or the diocese but the whole church. I am beginning to experience that kind of giving. I do that with a joy in my heart...."

"When we are faithful to our commitments they will drag us through life in an unexpected way.. I pray I will be everything God wants me to be and everything you desire for a bishop."
SVILUPPO: The ConcordPastor mistook the bishop-elect for the gardener... and notes the Easter link.

PHOTO: Jim Hudelson/Shreveport Times