Saturday, December 13, 2008

"My Heart is Ready"

In this week's second Mass of Welcome for a coadjutor -- or, as the Cincinnati press' most-recent mangling of the word would have it, "adjuctor" -- southern Minnesota's diocese of Winona formally received Bishop John Quinn as its ordinary-in-waiting at a Thursday liturgy.

Long known for his emphases in social justice and education, the former Detroit auxiliary and seminary rector (above) will succeed Bishop Bernard Harrington -- another Motor City native who reached the retirement age of 75 in September -- at the helm of the 150,000-member local church.
"My heart is ready," Quinn told the cardinals, bishops, priests, and other religious and laypeople gathered at the service.

Harrington, in comments before the Mass on Thursday, said he asked the Vatican in 2007 for an overlap period during which he could serve side-by-side with a coadjutor bishop to ensure continuity. He was surprised, he said, that the overlap period started after he reached the retirement age of 75, not before, and added that he was taking the arrangement in stride.

Quinn and Harrington appear to have a close relationship. They are both formerly auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Detroit and have known each other for several years. Quinn has said repeatedly that he respects Harrington's work and wants to keep the diocese moving in the same direction.
Having indicated his desire that the transition be relatively short, Harrington's said that Quinn's succession to the chair could well take place within the next six months.

Speaking of coadjutors, with the yearlong handoff in Sacramento now complete, now-diocesan Bishop Jaime Soto has begun articulating his priorities and plans for the 900,000-member church in the California capital.

PHOTO: Ken Klotzbach/Rochester Post-Bulletin