Saturday, 27 February 2010

Jones and also Smith

Archbishop Peter will be visiting us no fewer than three times between this coming Thursday and next Sunday. Thursday evening he celebrates Confirmation at Christ the King, Saturday he hopes to call in to the meeting of the Justice and Peace Forum of England and Wales, taking place at St Brigid's Hall, and lastly on Sunday he returns to St Brigid for Confirmation during 10.30 Mass. It's good to see our bishop - but three times?! (I'm only kidding).
We forget sometimes that the diocese, the area entrusted to a bishop, is the basic unit of the Catholic Church. We priests are his co-workers - in a sense we are here because he can't be everywhere. At our ordination, just before the central laying on of hands, the bishop asks the candidate "Do you promise me and my successors obedience and respect?" We swallow hard and answer "I do". As one American bishop said to his about-to-be-ordained man before that question at an ordination at my seminary in Rome, "Now, Pete, this is the really important part"!
So, it's an archiepiscopal week ahead, as it were, so let's hope it all goes well...

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