On Friday, January 4th, 2013, I had the wonderful experience of attending the Episcopal ordination of Bishop Robert Deeley, who becomes an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Boston. The following are some random reflections, typed out in the late night, with my head threatening to droop down onto my keyboard.
I received an invitation to the ordination some time ago. Since I work in downtown Boston, I decided to take a half day, and attend the ceremony. People in my office must have wondered what I was up to when I brought in my suit carrier, which contained both my alb and dalmatic. I took the MBTA Silver Line to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. In the basement of the Cathedral, I vested with the rest of the clergy, and found my fellow deacons. Because of most of the permanent deacons work and were unable to make it, there was only about a dozen of us there. We were definitely outnumbered by the diocesan priests.
The participants began to gather for the entrance procession; ahead of us were members of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Order of Malta, then came the clergy. As we processed down the main aisle, we walked through an honor guard of the Knights of Columbus, which was a new experience for me. The Cathedral sanctuary was beautiful, with all it’s Christmas decorations still up. The end of the procession had the Archbishop, Cardinal O’Malley OFM Cap, Bishop-elect Deeley, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Vigano, and Cardinal William Levada. And with them were also about 40 Archbishops, Bishops and Abbots. When one sees this many bishops gathered in one sanctuary, it makes real for me the term, “College of Bishops.”
The liturgy itself was very beautiful, very inspiring. I know that there have been some stories on the blogosphere about Catholics finding the old Tridentine liturgy more meaningful, more “spiritual.” I still hold that our current liturgy can be that and more, if we take the time to plan carefully, and encourage all who attend to actively participate. The Lord was definitely among us that afternoon.
I pray the Father will be with our new Auxiliary Bishop; that through the Son, he will be strengthened for his work; and through the Spirit, he will receive wisdom. May God be with him as he helps shepherd the Catholic community of Boston.