There was excitement when the good news reached the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, that the Holy Father had appointed Bishop Christopher Coyne as their new bishop. They had been waiting for nearly a year for this news. Bishop Coyne, who is 56, was the Auxiliary of Indianapolis, and is a fellow blogger. He, too, seems excited with the news. It was a wonderful Christmas present to that local church.
There is another local church, near and dear to my heart - Greensburg - that is also looking for such a wonderful Christmas present. We are going to extend the spirit of Advent into the new year as we eagerly await the appointment of a new bishop for our small diocese. Our present Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Lawrence Brandt, submitted his letter of resignation at reaching the age of seventy-five last March, and he, and we, await his successor and the acceptance of his retirement. There is almost a spirit of disloyalty in praying for and speaking of a new bishop while the present one is still very much a part of our lives, but that is also a part of our responsibility to this local church, to pray for and prepare for the future with trust in the Spirit of God.
While giving thanks for the blessings of the past and the blessings of this present moment, we look forward with expectant joy for the word from Pope Francis that he is sending us a new Shepherd. May that gift be not long delayed.