Friday, March 9, 2012

Bishop-Elect Liam Cary: More Details

The Catholic Sentinel updated their coverage to include details from the press conference held in Bend. It also includes details from previous stories about Fr. Cary, saying

Small decisions he made give a sense of his balanced approach. He once asked parishioners to thank musicians and choirs after Mass as opposed to applauding after songs. When lines for the sacrament of reconciliation grew long because of his popularity as a confessor, he gently asked those who come weekly or bi-weekly to keep their confessions brief if possible to make way for those who come less often.

When a committee held a dinner mixing new and long-time parishioners, Father Cary thanked them, then urged all members to keep the welcome going long term.

In 2001, he stood up publicly when fringe groups in southern Oregon began posting billboards critical of Pope John Paul and the Catholic Church.

“This lowers the level of civility, which is the basis of social peace,” he told the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland. “If that same billboard had a statement against Jews, against Blacks, against Hispanics, there would rightly be an outcry against it.”

The Bend Bulletin also ran a story with details from the press conference. I particularly enjoyed the glimpses into Fr. Cary’s life given by things he himself is quoted as saying in the Bend Bulletin article:

Cary grew up in Prineville and lived in the area until 1973. “Every time I come to Prineville, I think, ‘Why did I leave here?' ”

Cary was inspired to become a priest when he was 6, thanks to the Rev. Thomas McTeigue, the priest at St. Joseph Church in Prineville. “I wanted to do as he did ... and serve God the way he did,” said Cary.

Fr. Cary is a strong pro-life priest as well. The Bulletin article notes:

Bishop-designate Cary has been a stalwart in the pro-life movement. He would hold Masses in memory of children who died by miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, describing “an invisible death, an invisible loss, with an invisible grief." Former director of the Archdiocese of Portland's pro-life office, he has in past months been active in opposing construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in Springfield, near Eugene.

As for plans for the future, Fr. Cary seems prudently cautious:

Although Cary is familiar with Central Oregon, he isn't familiar with all of the issues of the diocese, saying he doesn't feel prepared to answer questions about the challenges of the diocese “in any real way.” Cary does believe one of his greatest tasks will be getting to “know the people I serve and to get them to know me.”

The Bend Bulletin notes that Fr. James Radloff, new pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish, “wonders if Cary is traditional or more progressive, saying ‘he’s an unknown’.”

This 6-minute video, a tribute to Fr. Cary created when he left Sacred Heart parish in Medford, perhaps gives a little insight into the answer to that question. (Go here for more videos of Fr. Cary preaching, and here for a prayer for bishops and their flocks.)

For related posts, click on the “Bishop Liam Cary Posts” tab at the top of the page.


  1. Father James Radloff wonders if he is conservative or progressive.........hum. It seems that the Church in the USA is in the sad state it is because for the last 50 years She has focused on the "progressive" (aka politically correct)rather than Orthodoxy (which the "progressives" call conservative). I hope and pray that Bishop-elect Cary brings the balance needed and focuses upon the traditional values of the Church, and its true teachings. That would include NOT suppressing the Extraordinary form of the Mass as has been the case in this Diocese for some time. My prayers for the new Bishop

  2. Father Cary addressed the social evils of artificial contraception/the 'contraceptive mentality' from the pulpit last Sunday; I've been a Catholic since '76 and have only heard such things one or two other times. Our loss here at St Mary's in Eugene is your gain in Baker! (I've followed PoP for a few months? but until Fr Cary's appointment to Baker it hadn't struck me that you are relatively close.)

  3. Marc - you're from "Mysterious Things", right? I saw that you had linked to my post. (Thanks!) We're feeling pretty darn happy about our gain of Fr. Cary; you folks still have Fr. Eric Andersen, thought, and I think very highly of him, having met him and read some of his homily material.

  4. Oh, you have a treasure in Fr Liam! He was our beloved pastor at Sacred Heart in Medford for 12 years and we mourned for months after he left for Eugene. He is a holy man, a humble person, very wise, has a great sense humor, and has a great tenor voice which he uses to chant beautifully (and sing when called upon). He also has an infectious enthusiasm for the Catholic faith and he imparts that. He is also unequivocal when principle is at stake. He is inspiring. Learn from him as much as you can!


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