Friday, September 21, 2012

From the OC, The First Word

SVILUPPO (3.15pm ET): Yeah, this pretty much sums up the change in Orange – the incoming bishop in Oakleys and a "Proud to be Catholic" hat given by his (considerably more reserved) predecessor.

Tip to local journo Ruxandra Guidi, who snapped the presser shot.
... and here, some local video:

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The Appointment Day press conference in Orange slated to begin at this hour, here's Bishop Kevin Vann's opening statement on his selection to lead the 1.3 million-member California diocese (emphases original):
Dear members of the media present today, and all who are here. I am very grateful for your presence and for your welcome. I especially thank Bishop Brown and [vicar-general] Msgr. [Michael] Heher for their wonderful welcome. Bishop Brown and I have known each other for 31 years. He was a priest on the sabbatical program at the North American College in Rome, and I was a newly ordained priest studying canon law. We were in residence at the Casa Santa Maria of the North American College at the time. And, in the same residence, Msgr. Heher and I were studying together during the same time period. When we were younger (!) priests!! And, [auxiliary] Bishop Dominic [Luong] and I have known each other for several years, and he was my guest in Fort Worth last December when we dedicated the new Church of Vietnamese Martyrs in Arlington, Texas, one of the biggest Vietnamese parishes here in the United States. So it is a blessing for me to be with you all here and see familiar faces. I have learned over the years to try to place each day, every decision in the presence of the Word of God as it starts, to surround me and guide me, and all of us. Today is the feast day of St. Matthew, Apostle and evangelist. The first reading for today’s feast day in the Church’s calendar is from St. Paul to the Ephesians when he says “Brothers and Sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” I cannot think of a better section of Sacred Scripture for me, for all of us today, to describe to what we are called as the Body of Christ. One of the many blessings I have learned from the HIspanic people is that the Church called by them as the “Family of God”. And, that, I believe with all my heart is who we are: this is what I have learned from my years in Fort Worth, and from what I have learned about all of you so far from Bishop Brown. You see, when Bishop or a priest is transferred from one parish to another or one Diocese to another, they leave one family behind and gain another. I have so much to be grateful to God for the people of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and north TExas and beyond. I will miss them very much. But, I promise that as we grow together in this exciting and dynamic time of the Diocese of Orange, I will love you and do my best to serve you, with the Lord’s help. That is one thing I learned in Fort Worth, and what I will live here. We are at an exciting time here in Orange: with the acquiring of what will be Christ Cathedral, we have the opportunity - with the gift of God that this is, as Bishop Brown has said - to continue to preach the Word of God here. We are also at the beginning of the year of Faith, a time and promise of new energy and celebration of Faith as we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. I am truly blessed to be here with all of you now as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese, appointed by Pope Benedict. I thank Bishop Brown for his dedication, commitment and shepherding of all here in the Diocese, and promise my support and friendship for him in this new time in his life. This is a time of transition in my own life to be sure, with the death of my mother earlier this summer and now my leaving Fort Worth and coming to you. The Diocese of Fort Worth and Diocese of Orange have many similarities. But your welcome, warmth and vibrant Faith is a blessing and great encouragement to me. Being new, I cannot say that I have any plan or specific idea at this time. But as we live and strengthen the bonds of our Faith and family, I know that God’s purpose and plan will be shown to us each day. The patroness of the Diocese is the Mother of God, Our Lady of Guadalupe. As she leads us to her Son, we listen to her words not to ever be afraid or worried, but walk ahead always to her Son. Two years ago, Pope Benedict made his historic visit to England, for the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman. As we thank the Lord for this moment in time, and for the plans He has in mind for us, I can think of no better words than Newman’s hymn:
Praise to the Holiest in the height and in the depth be praise: in all his words most wonderful, most sure in all His ways!
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According to a post on his blog, Vann will remain in California for several days before returning to Fort Worth, where he's lived in a simple suite in the 19th century rectory at St Patrick's Cathedral. With the Western transfer, the 700,000-member North Texas diocese loses its bishop to another assignment for the first time in its 42-year history. Likewise on the move, three of the Lone Star state's 14 local churches stand vacant – El Paso came open on the December shift of Bishop Armando Ochoa to SoCal's million-member Fresno church, while in its eastern corner, the diocese of Tyler has gone nearly 15 months since the Jesuit Alvaro Corrada del Rio was returned to his native Puerto Rico as bishop of Mayaguez.
Back East, meanwhile, in a statement on his retirement after 33 years at the helm of the Rochester diocese, Bishop Matthew Clark said he was "peaceful; and look[ing] forward with lively curiosity to a new phase of my life and ministry. "I assure the good and faithful people in our 12 counties that the governance of this Diocese is in excellent hands," Clark said, thanking God "for having lived during this incredible time and for the opportunity to shepherd a beautiful, faithful and inspired people." As previously noted, Bishop Robert Cunningham of Syracuse will do double-duty, serving as apostolic administrator of the 300,000-member diocese until the installation of Clark's successor. The duo are shown above (Clark, right) at a morning press conference announcing the move. PHOTOS: Diocese of Fort Worth(1); Tina Yee/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle(2) -30-