Monday, December 14, 2009

In Minnesota, Mitre Monday

It's almost like deja vu, folks -- another day, another hatting... and yet another in an arena.

For the fourth time this December, this afternoon sees the ordination of a Stateside bishop: this time, Duluth's Paul Sirba, who was sent up I-35 from the Twin Cities at the mid-October hat trick. Unlike the three that preceded it, however, today's Mass welcoming the 49 year-old will be webstreamed; the livefeed from local ABC affiliate WDIO is expected to start around 2pm Central (2000GMT). And lest anyone's looking for a pre-game show, fullaudio of Sirba's Northland introduction is available for listening via his hometown's Catholic Spirit.

After an unusually heavy autumn wave of chair-shifts that's yielded the youngest crop of episcopal appointees on these shores in over three decades, the year-end circuit ends tomorrow in Providence with the ordination of Auxiliary Bishop-elect Bob Evans, his appointment celebrated in the latest issue of Rhode Island's diocesan weekly.

The nation's most-densely Catholic state, tomorrow's ordination of the first Ocean State auxiliary in a decade will be streamed by not one, but two local outlets.

Elsewhere, it seems that the O antiphons will get an unusual early start this year... but more on that, and everything else, in due course.

SVILUPPO: On a worthy side-note, today's ordinand -- the sixth Twin Cities native called upward in just the last two years -- picked two other homeboys as his co-consecrators: Bishops Peter Christensen of Superior and St Paul-Minneapolis auxiliary Lee Piché.

The three were spotted together sharing a Happy Hour drink at last month's USCCB plenary in Baltimore.

The veterans ordered cocktails... but Sirba had a beer.

And, well, it's those little things that tend to say a lot.

Additionally, it's worth pointing out that the last three Duluth bishops were eventually transferred to larger posts: Robert Brom was sent to San Diego in 1989, Roger Schwietz OMI was named archbishop of Anchorage in 2000 and, of course, in October 2008 Dennis Schnurr was named coadjutor archbishop of Cincinnati, where his succession in Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk's stead is expected to take place early next week.

PHOTO: Michael Smith/Wyoming Tribune-Eagle