As with most anniversaries and milestones, it’s hard to believe it was 15 years ago, this past Sunday, that I knelt on the floor of the Cathedral of St. Helena, with the Gospel book opened over my head, being commissioned and ordained a bishop.continue at MadCatHerald
In some ways, that morning in Helena, Mont., seems like an eternity ago, and in other ways, it seems like just yesterday.
Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways
When I was ordained bishop, I certainly expected to be in Helena much longer than I was, if not for the remainder of my ministry. But my call to Madison, a short four years later, only goes to show that the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways -- but always for our best, in the end.
I told those gathered at my Stational Mass this past Sunday that as a boy, growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I would never have expected to have served as a priest in the Midwest Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., nor to be named a bishop, nor to have served in Montana, and then Madison, Wis. -- but so it was, according to God’s plan, and I am nothing if not obedient.
Taking the vow of obedience
Obedience has been a recurring theme of mine, time and again, for two reasons.
The first is that it is certainly essential to who I am, and how I was formed. While Jesuits take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and are called to honor those vows with the same faithfulness, it is the vow of obedience which is most stressed.
St. Ignatius of Loyola was a man of firm obedience, and obedience was of tremendous import in the formation in my day.