Monday, August 29, 2016

"All I can be . . . " . . . A New Bishop

Monday greetings from Chicago.

Last Wednesday was a wonderful day. I had the privilege of attending the episcopal ordination of Mark O'Connell and Bob Reed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, pictured here.

I had last been there in 1983, playing the organ for the ordination class of the men who were a year ahead of me in the seminary. I thought the day would have a bittersweet taste for me, since I was never ordained but, to the contrary, my heart was filled with nothing but gratitude and joy for the Church of Boston and especially for my friend, now Bishop Bob Reed. The singing of the Litany of the Saints was quite moving as the two men were prostrate on the floor of the sanctuary.

The music was lead by the Saint Paul Boy's and Men's Choir of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This photo, taken by one of the official photographers, caught a wonderful moment.

If you have never been to the ordination of a bishop, there is one particular moment that stands out, for me at least. Following the Prayer after Communion, the entire assembly joins in singing Holy God, We Praise Thy Name. And the newly ordained bishops move through the assembly, offering their blessing to all in attendance. Clapping and spontaneous cheers erupt as each new bishop moves into different areas of the cathedral. For me, it spoke loudly of how these two men are loved by the local Church and belong to that Church.

Back in 1976, and continuing through these many years, I have remained friends with the three men shown here. Our lives have taken twists and turns, some happy, some sad, but it was with hearts filled with gratitude that we were all able to share this moment together.

A poignant moment for me came when Bishop Reed, in his remarks after Communion, said simple, "All I can be is Bob Reed." That sentiment and the truth behind it shined throughout that day in Boston.

I was so glad I was able to attend.

After Boston, I traveled to New York City. More on that tomorrow.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Patrick Finn said...

I was there too. What a magnificent liturgy. The two new bishops are indeed great men! We will miss Bishop O'Connell here at St. John's Seminary.