GARY (CNS) — Before a packed Holy Angels Cathedral and a television and online audience, Bishop Donald J. Hying was installed as the Diocese of Gary’s fourth bishop.
In what Bishop Hying called “a glorious adventure in faith together,” the 51-year-old bishop formally accepted the apostolic mandate from Pope Francis naming the former auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee as the new spiritual shepherd for 185,000 Roman Catholics in Northwest Indiana.
Msgr. Richard Zollinger, who witnessed the erection of the Gary diocese in 1957 and the consecration of its three previous bishops, said the installation of Bishop Hying Jan. 6 represents “new life, new hope — that’s what it’s all about.”
For Father Christopher Stanish, ordained a priest in 2014, the installation of a new bishop marks “a first step in an amazing journey of discipleship, as the bishop moves us into the vision the Lord has called us to. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, the new bishop will carry the joy of the Gospel to the Diocese of Gary.”
Looking over the audience witnessing the ceremony, Bishop Hying said, “The memory of this moment will always carry me forward.”
In his homily, Bishop Hying extended an invitation to local Catholics to “never be afraid to approach me, challenge me, tell me hard truths or ask me to do things for you. I am here to serve with all of you.”
“We renew our dedication to Jesus and His Church, to the proclamation of the Good News and the service of the poor, to lives of prayer and service, to help heal this world that often seems so old and broken,” he said.
Filling in for Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. who could not attend because of a snowstorm, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis read the apostolic mandate, which was presented to the acting chancellor and the consultors before being shown to the entire assembly.
Bishop Hying addressed different segments of the diocese in his homily, starting with his brother priests. “I look forward to coming to know, love and support you as you lead and serve this local Church,” the bishop said, adding his support to the religious of the diocese. “May you know how deeply you are valued and loved.”
Turning to deacons and their wives, Bishop Hying said, “The power and fruit of your service and love richly nourish our people. Your commitment to social ministry extends the good news of the Gospel beyond the formal borders of the Church into the hospitals, prisons, homes and hearts of so many.”
To lay ecclesial ministers, parish council leaders, volunteers and other lay faithful from the 68 parishes in the diocese, Bishop Hying extended his greetings and love.
“Your prayer, your marriages and families, the work you do, the time and treasure you give are the fire and energy that make the Church run forward in the sacred mission of Christ Jesus,” he said. “You are the presence of the Lord in the world, and the world has never needed your faith and love more than it does right now.”
Addressing the Hispanic population in their native tongue, Bishop Hying said, “Your spirituality, love for Christ and His holy mother and your devotion to family life are aspects of the gifts you offer us. I am your brother and a disciple together with you in the pilgrimage of our faith.”
The new bishop also addressed the diocese’s African-American community, Asians, the deaf and those with other challenges and abilities. “All of you are close to the heart of Christ and an integral part of our local Church,” Bishop Hying said.
Born in West Allis, Wisconsin, Bishop Hying was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee May 20, 1989. He was ordained as Milwaukee’s seventh auxiliary bishop July 20, 2011.
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