Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Youngstown Church Awaits Bishop's Installation

This article appeared in The Youngstown Vindicator
Saturday, March 24th

Since Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was transferred to the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, the Catholics of the Diocese of Youngstown have longed for a shepherd for nearly two years. The Church in Youngstown now rejoices at the appointment of Bishop George V. Murry as its fifth bishop, which marks the beginning of a new chapter in our diocesan history. We pray for an abundance of heavenly blessings through the ministry of Bishop Murry.
For the faithful and the clergy, the presence of their bishop – the chief shepherd of the diocese – is a vital part of their living out of the Christian Faith. The bishop is so much more than an administrator, though the work of managing the resources of the diocese takes much of his time. As priest, the bishop oversees celebrations of worship in the diocese; as teacher he is charged with making sure the Faith is passed on completely to all the faithful; and as chief shepherd he is responsible for caring for the needs of the entire diocesan flock.
More than all this, according to ancient tradition the bishop is in a relationship of spiritual fatherhood with his people. The Church’s document on bishops (Christus Dominus) teaches that the Lord’s flock is a family of which the bishop is the father. As the father of children, so the bishop teaches, nurtures, admonishes, and instructs, all for the spiritual well-being of his people.
The bishops are the successors of the Apostles, whom the Lord Jesus Himself chose and sent forth to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28: 19). Thus, in the person of the bishops, united with the Pope, the living tradition of Jesus is passed down to us. The Church is clearly visible whenever the bishop, together with his priests and the people under his care, gather for the celebration of the Eucharist.
As he begins his ministry as the father of the diocesan family in Youngstown, Bishop Murry will be installed in special solemn liturgies on March 27th and 28th. The official letter from the Pope announcing his appointment as bishop will be read to all the people gathered in the Cathedral of Saint Columba. The highpoint will be when Bishop Murry is invited to take his place in the cathedra, the presiding chair which symbolizes the office of the bishop.
Bishops in the Church use a variety of vestments and symbols of their office, which each hold particular significance. Whether wearing a suit or dressed in liturgical vestments, the bishop always wears a pectoral crucifix around his neck, a reminder that he is called to lay down his life for his flock, after the pattern of Jesus on the Cross. On his right hand, the bishop wears a ring, signifying the promise of faith and his spiritual marriage to the diocese. During the Liturgy, the bishop wears a miter on his head, and carries the crozier – the pastoral staff. The crozier has the shape of a shepherd’s staff with a crook at the end. As a shepherd must at times prod the sheep along with the point of his staff, and at other times draw them back into the fold with the crook, so the bishop must both encourage and admonish. All the symbols of the office of bishop speak to us of the rich tradition of the Church, which seeks through signs and symbols to make the loving presence of Jesus Christ known to all the world.
The Catholic faithful in Northeast Ohio offer thanks to God for sending us Bishop George Murry, a priest, a teacher, a shepherd – a father to our diocesan flock. As sons and daughters of God our Heavenly Father, we embrace this opportunity to step forward together, as priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, seminarians, and faithful united with our bishop, to bring the love and truth of Jesus Christ to the world in which we live.

Rev. Mr. Matthew J. Albright

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