Monday, April 26, 2010

"To Serve and To Love": Restoration Day in Scranton

As he prepared to take the reins of one of the Stateside church's staunchest bastions, Bishop-elect Joseph Bambera of Scranton offered a moving reflection for his homily at last night's Vespers (fullvid) in St Peter's Cathedral.

Suffice it to say, just watch:

Once a curate at the cathedral whose main chair will shortly be his, the rites elevating the 54 year-old native son -- a full-time pastor of five parishes and sometime diocesan official prior to his February appointment -- begin at 2pm Eastern... and those interested can catch it here then.

Following the oft-turbulent (and short-circuited) six-year tenure of Bishop Joseph Martino, the incoming bishop appears intent to augur a reboot for the 320,000-member Electric City church, a fresh start inspired by the model of its last home-grown head: the beloved Bishop "Cliff" Timlin, who led the diocese from 1984-2003 and will serve as a principal co-consecrator today alongside yet another native son, retired Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty.

Martino will be in attendance, but in the background, participating in the ordination rite with the other 18 prelates slated to be on hand.

Among numerous special touches for the day, the bishop-elect will be presented for ordination by the pastor who mentored him in his first parish assignment, and Bambera will employ the pontificalia of his predecessors, including the pectoral cross of founding Bishop William O'Hara (1868-99), and the crozier and "Council ring" of the "Infant of Prague" J. Carroll McCormick, the cardinal's nephew who led the diocese from 1966-83 and ordained his latest successor to the diaconate.