5/01/2007
Stand Firm in the Faith
This is the motto of our new Bishop, Kevin J. Farrell and is from St. Paul's letter to the Colossians. It is also something that I think we can look forward to as we see and hear more about our new Bishop and what he intends to do in the Diocese.

At today's Installation mass, more than 1,200 people filled the Cathedral to overflowing, with a covered courtyard with chairs and a big screen TV as an overflow room.

In attendance were all the Bishops from the state of Texas and Archbishop Weurl from DC and retired DC Archbishop Cardinal McCarrick.

The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi was also present as the official representative of Pope Benedict XVI and he read the letter from the Pope assigning Bishop Farrell as the head of the Diocese of Dallas. Bishop Farrell's family came from Ireland to be with him and also his brother, Brian Farrell who is a Bishop and the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Mass ran about two hours and was a very solemn occasion, but yet joyful at the same time. The music was very good and reverent and at the end, surprise, we chanted the Salve Regina, in Latin. I cannot remember the last time I heard the Salve sung in a liturgical setting.

Bishop Farrell in his homily said he was not going to lay out any kind of new pastoral plan other than to say he would make vocations to the Priesthood a top priority and asked the people of the Dicoese to help him make this happen. I did not notice him mention anything about the recent scandals or how he would approach them, although I may have missed this.

And although he said he would not lay out any new programs, he told us from where he would draw his inspiration from. He quoted from the Apostolic Letter Novo Millenio Ineunte of Pope John Paul II and said in part, "It is not therefore a matter of inventing a "new programme". The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated . . . this is a programme which does not change with shifts of times and cultures."

He also mentioned again, as he did in his introductory press conference back in March, that we should not let the culture influence our faith but that in fact we should influence the culture by the example of our own faith.

"Some people," he said "have built the religion of a god in their own image and a doctrine which suits their own lifestyle." Indeed they have.

We'll have more about Bishop Farrell and will be monitoring the media coverage of this event and the work of Bishop Farrell in the days ahead.

Story from the Diocesan paper, the Texas Catholic. Good review of the whole thing.

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