Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ten years of service

     This past Tuesday, the 4th of March, marked ten years since Monsignor Lawrence E. Brandt was ordained and installed as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg.  His predecessors - Hugh L. Lamb, William G. Connare and Anthony G. Bosco - were each different people with gifts, personalities, styles and talents that they used to the best of their abilities to serve this young diocese.  Bishop Brandt joins that list, and has brought his experience of Church into the local community. Ten years is an anniversary worth acknowledging and celebrating, which was done last Sunday with a Mass at the Cathedral and a reception, as well as a congratulatory edition of our Diocesan newspaper published that week.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate last Sunday which kept many from attending, myself included.  I am envious of ten years in one place, since I have only reached a limit of eight and a half.  Bishop Brandt will also be celebrating an important birthday later this month when he reaches the age of seventy-five and must submit his letter of resignation.  Then comes the waiting period until a new bishop is appointed and his resignation is accepted.

     As with anyone in leadership, some like and some dislike the bishop.  The likes and dislikes often stem from style of leadership or the personality of the individual.  Bishop Brandt has always been kind and considerate with me, and shown warmth and concern, and I am grateful.  He and I are very different in background and likes and dislikes, but we share the bond of priesthood and more importantly the love of God and of his people.  There are a number of people out there, though, that are critical in the nastiest and most unchristian of ways, and are eagerly awaiting a new bishop.  They come to that point from hurts and challenges, perceived or real, that they have or are facing, and which have caused them to lose focus of the vision and the goal of our life with Christ.  I often understand their frustration and hurts, but I also find that my heart aches for their lack of charity shown toward the Church, this administration and most especially this bishop.  The loss of respect - for the man and the office - is an evil that needs to be faced.  And to those who "stir the pot", who foment the discontent, not who disagree but who disrespect, I have only the harshest words.

     To the many who love and respect our bishop and are grateful for his ten years of service, and to the many that find him challenging or frustrating, I offer the same words of encouragement - he has been given to us as our shepherd, he is a good man, and he not only needs but deserves our prayers.  Has he done everything well in these ten years? ... time will tell.   Is he a sincere man of God? ... the answer is yes.  Does he harbor "evil intent" in his heart? ... the answer is no.  So pray for him.


No comments:

Post a Comment