Congratulations Bishop D’Arcy
This Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of Bishop John M. D’Arcy’s installation as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. On behalf of all the faithful of our diocese, I offer grateful thanks and prayerful best wishes to our beloved bishop emeritus.
On April 30, 1985, Bishop D’Arcy took canonical possession of the diocese during Evening Prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend. The apostolic letter of appointment was read by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Crowley. On the next day, May 1, the installation Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne. That was certainly a blessed day for the diocese as well as for Bishop D’Arcy and his family.
Thanks to Bishop D’Arcy, the Church in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has grown and flourished in faith the past 25 years. I’ve been thinking how appropriate it was that Bishop D’Arcy’s ministry here began on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. As St. Joseph worked humbly and diligently to support the Holy Family and watched over Mary and Jesus with love and devotion, so has Bishop D’Arcy in his fatherly care of the family of our diocese. Thank you, Bishop D’Arcy, for your hard work these past 25 years and for your continuing devoted ministry as our bishop emeritus. May our Risen Lord bless you with much joy on your 25th anniversary!
Congratulations Deacons Matthew and Terrence!
This past Sunday, April 25, Matthew Coonan and Terrence Coonan, Jr., were ordained deacons by Bishop D’Arcy at the Pontifical College Josephinum. This is a cause for joy for the Coonan family and for our diocese. We thank these two fine young men, blood brothers, who are now also brothers in the ordained ministry, for saying “yes” to the call of our Lord to service in His Church. I am already looking forward to ordaining them to the priesthood next spring!
I will be meeting with Matthew and Terrence soon to give them their summer diaconal assignments. Please pray for them and for all of our seminarians as they continue their road to the priesthood. And please remember in your prayers Deacon Andrew Budzinski who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 26. Let us pray that the Lord will bless our diocese with an abundance of good priestly vocations!
Pastoral visit to Bishop Dwenger
I have now visited all four of our diocesan high schools! I celebrated Mass on Monday, April 19, at Bishop Dwenger High School and then visited classrooms and enjoyed lunch with a group of amazing student leaders. My visits to Bishop Dwenger and to all of our high schools have been some of the best experiences so far for me here in the diocese. I am really grateful to see the strong faith formation going on in our high schools, a formation that is evident to me as I speak with the students and enjoy their company.
At Bishop Dwenger High School, I received a tour from the principal, Mr. Fred Tone. He has served at Bishop Dwenger for 42 years, the past 16 years as principal. He has truly done an outstanding job. Everyone I speak to shares with me their admiration for Mr. Tone’s leadership and example of faith. He will certainly be greatly missed, yet his service has left a lasting mark on this community and in the lives of thousands of young people. Let us pray that the Lord will bless Mr. Tone with good health and much happiness as he retires. Thank you, Mr. Tone, for your service and for your commitment to the noble mission of Catholic education!
This past Wednesday, I was privileged to be a guest at the start of the annual Shar-athon for our Catholic radio station in Fort Wayne, Redeemer Radio. I spent an hour on the air from 7-8 a.m. It was an enjoyable opportunity to talk about our faith and to offer my support to this important and holy apostolate. Redeemer Radio is a great means of evangelization and catechesis. I wish to thank all the dedicated employees and volunteers who serve in this apostolate. It has my blessing and my strong support, especially as it embarks on new endeavors to increase local programming and to expand its area of broadcast. May the Lord bless these endeavors!
I am very happy that we have a seminary in our diocese. I felt very much at home during my first visit to Moreau Seminary at the University of Notre Dame, where I celebrated Mass on April 22. It was great to meet the seminarians and the seminary staff, under the wonderful leadership of Father Patrick Neary, CSC. Father Neary will complete his term as rector this year as he is being transferred to serve at the Holy Cross Seminary in Kenya. Thank you, Father Neary, for your spiritual leadership at Moreau. May the Lord watch over you as you continue your priestly ministry in Africa!
As you probably know, Moreau Seminary is an institution of the Congregation of Holy Cross and is named after the founder of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau. This holy French priest founded the Holy Cross community not long after the tumult of the French Revolution. How blessed we are in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend by the presence and ministry of so many of the spiritual sons and daughters of Father Moreau! I am glad to see that the Congregation of Holy Cross Fathers is doing well with priestly vocations. As we pray for our own diocesan seminarians, it is important that we also pray for our Holy Cross seminarians.
After Mass with the seminary community, I was happy to deliver a speech to the Moreau community on the theme of “Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest.” I am grateful to Father David Tyson, the provincial superior of the Holy Cross Fathers, and to Father James Gallagher, the vocation director, for their kind invitation to deliver this address as part of a series during this Year for Priests. Besides the seminary community, several Holy Cross priests and Notre Dame students attended the address. I felt privileged to share some theological and spiritual reflections on the gift and mystery of the priesthood in light of the priesthood of Christ.
I attended the 30th annual dinner and auction benefiting Bishop Luers High School on Friday, April 23. What a wonderful evening! I especially enjoyed the outstanding performances by the student jazz band and the dance choir. The musical program at Bishop Luers is truly one of the finest I have ever experienced. I remember the beauty of the liturgical music when I celebrated Mass at Bishop Luers back in early February.
I was very touched by the moving speech of Bishop Luers’ senior, Deshaun Thomas, who spoke about his experience as a student at Luers’ and the great support he received there from Mrs. Mary Keefer, the principal, and from the faculty. I congratulated Deshaun on his accomplishments, not only on the basketball court, but academically as well. I only gave him a little hard time about his choice to go to Ohio State, rather than Penn State!
Many thanks to all who so generously supported LuersKnight this year, especially in the auction, which raised over $130,000 for tuition assistance. May God bless your generosity!
This past week, I was privileged to administer the sacrament of Confirmation at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Huntington and at St. Anthony of Padua Church in South Bend. This was my first visit to these two beautiful churches. Even more beautiful than the churches was the beauty of the faith of the young people who received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation.
Month of May
As we begin the month of May, a month traditionally associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us turn in a special way to our Lady. Let us remember Mary’s presence in the pilgrim Church from its very beginning on the day of Pentecost. She was present at the very dawn of the Church, united in mind and heart with the disciples at prayer in the upper room, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. She is with each of us, her spiritual children, on our pilgrimage through life. She is with us in prayer, as she was with the Apostles and disciples in the upper room. She is with us in our daily activities. She is with us as our mother and our model. She accompanies us throughout our lives with her maternal love. I invite you to pray with me the beautiful Easter hymn, the Regina Coeli:
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray: O God, who through the Resurrection of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, did vouchsafe to give joy to the world; grant, we beseech You, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
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