Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Jackson and Beyond, "What Does It Mean To Be Catholic?"

Alongside this Thursday's "Merry Sis-mas" in Aggieland and beyond, at Roman Noon today the Pope launched Fr Joseph Kopacz, 63 – a career pastor and onetime vicar-general of Scranton – way down South as bishop of Jackson.

To be sure, it's the kind of long-haul move we haven't seen in a while. Still, as the most beloved, celebrated and prophetic daughter of the 50,000-member Northern Mississippi church our Upstater inherits went largely unheeded when she was called forward – and we're just shy of 25 years from that summer day when, in a sweltering Seton Hall gym, she bore a contagious, electric witness before the Stateside bench – especially amid this feast born from the "embrace" of a culture precisely for the purpose of evangelizing it (sound familiar, Church?), even now, leave it to Thea to commandeer the stage....

Again, this coming June marks a quarter-century since the above preach was given. Even so, trying to find a better summary of Evangelii gaudium than this would prove a useless task.

If only she lived to see it.