Monday, February 23, 2009

"My Brother Priests, I Love You"

Just back from a very happy, quasi-rollicking press conference (fullvideo) and raucous introduction of "our new Boss" to the 1011 staff.

Buzzwords from Gotham's archbishop-elect: "love" for the priests, "engagement" not "confrontation" in the public square, job #1 is being a "pastor." And the departing archbishop has, he says, one major regret: that the number of priestly vocations weren't what he hoped, noting along the way that they're just now on an uptick.

Here below, the appointee's statement in full:
Thank you, Cardinal Egan, for your gracious words of welcome. To know you are and will be at my side is a genuine blessing indeed.
Thank you, members of the media, and so many listening and watching with us this morning, for your interest and your welcome. You’ve made me feel at home already.

Thank you, most of all, to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who is alive in His Church, without whom nothing is possible, with whom nothing is impossible.
Thank you, Pope Benedict XVI, for your trust in naming me archbishop of this historic and vibrant Archdiocese of New York.

My brother bishops, priests, religious women and men, seminarians, committed Catholics of this wonderful Church, I pledge to you my love, my life, my heart, and I can tell you already that I love you, I need so much your prayers and support, I am so honored, humbled, and happy to serve as your pastor.

To our cherished collaborators in metropolitan New York, our Christian, Jewish, Islamic and interfaith colleagues, my pledge to you of continued friendship; to our civic leaders, and so many neighbors, men and women of such good will, my assurances of a continued alliance in all that is noble in our devotion to this expansive community.

[In Spanish] My special greeting to our Latino brothers & sister, such a blessing to our Church and our community. I look forward to knowing and loving you.

Thank you, Mom, family and friends at home in St. Louis, and in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It will be tough to leave you.

I come before you in awe, with some trepidation, knowing I have a lot to learn, -- about you and about this dynamic local church.. Yet I come so confident in God’s grace and mercy, and so hopeful in the dream that is ours for a “future full of hope” as promised by God.

I relish the blessing of spending the rest of my life as your pastor, neighbor, and friend.
And by the by, fullaudio of this morning's first crack at the Man of the Hour has been posted for on-demand listening on the homepage of Sirius XM Radio's The Catholic Channel.

PHOTOS: AP/Mary Altaffer