Saturday, April 21, 2012

Episcopal Ordination of Fr. Cary: Update

Latest update here.

I see that Google inquiries about the upcoming episcopal ordination of Fr. Liam Cary are sometimes leading to this blog, so I’ll tell you what I know. That won’t take long! But I’ll also tell you what I think, and that will take a little longer. ;-)

Plans for the ordination are proceeding, it appears…not that I have any inside line on what’s happening. I do know that tickets are hard to come by. From a few reports I’ve heard, it sounds like most parishes were given 6 tickets to distribute to parishioners. I was told by chancery office personnel I would have to ask my pastor for a ticket. Since I don’t really have a parish, it was pretty clear I wouldn’t get one.

I did ask at the parish where we have gone for the EF Mass, but the secretary told me all the tickets had been given away. I know of two parishes where a drawing is being held – all interested parties were to submit their names, and random selection will take place at a pre-ordination date. That seems like a fair way to distribute the tickets.

There is non-ticket seating available at St. Francis Church, in what one person termed the cafegymatorium. Having never been there, I don’t really know what this space looks like, but the ordination will apparently be viewed by attendees on a big screen TV (or something). And there is a rumor that the ordination may be available by internet to other parishes, but I’m not sure about that. If you are interested, you might contact someone at your parish office or at the chancery in Bend.

The only thing I’ve heard about the music is that Fr. Cary requested the Te Deum, and it will be sung…whether in English or Latin, I don’t know.

St. Francis de Sales Cathedral -
where the ordination SHOULD
take place!
As far as I can tell, my hope that the ordination will be moved to the Cathedral in Baker City – where, by all rights and liturgical rubrics and canonical law, it should take place – is not going to become reality.  More’s the pity.

Fr. Cary is currently in Rome with the northwest bishops. According to Canon Law,

Before taking canonical possession of his office, he who has been promoted is to make the profession of faith and take the oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See, in accordance with the formula approved by the same Apostolic See.  (Can. 380)

So perhaps Fr. Cary will be able to do that during his current visit.  Canon Law lists a good many duties and responsibilities of bishops – it’s a daunting office! For instance (my emphases):

Can. 383 ß1 In exercising his pastoral office, the diocesan Bishop is to be solicitous for all Christ's faithful entrusted to his care, whatever their age, condition or nationality, whether they live in the territory or are visiting there…

Can. 384 He is to have a special concern for the priests, to whom he is to listen as his helpers and counselors. He is to defend their rights and ensure that they fulfill the obligations proper to their state. He is to see that they have the means and the institutions needed for the development of their spiritual and intellectual life. He is to ensure that they are provided with adequate means of livelihood and social welfare, in accordance with the law.

Can. 385 He must in a very special way foster vocations to the various ministries and to consecrated life, having a special care for priestly and missionary vocations.

Can. 386 ß1 The diocesan Bishop is bound to teach and illustrate to the faithful the truths of faith which are to be believed and applied to behavior. He is himself to preach frequently. He is also to ensure that the provisions of the canons on the ministry of the word, especially on the homily and catechetical instruction, are faithfully observed, so that the whole of Christian teaching is transmitted to all.

ß2 By whatever means seem most appropriate, he is firmly to defend the integrity and unity of the faith to be believed…

Can. 387 Mindful that he is bound to give an example of holiness, charity, humility and simplicity of life, the diocesan Bishop is to seek in every way to promote the holiness of Christ’s faithful according to the special vocation of each. Since he is the principal dispenser of the mysteries of God, he is to strive constantly that Christ’s faithful entrusted to his care may grow in grace through the celebration of the sacraments, and may know and live the paschal mystery.

From everything I’ve read and heard about Fr. Cary, he is a good candidate for the episcopal office, but no man can fulfill all of the above requirements without God’s help and grace. Of course, ordination imparts grace, but bishops need our prayers, too. Pray for all bishops!

Lastly, here’s another news story about Fr. Cary – it’s from the RegisterGuard in Eugene. The article notes a couple of interesting twists to Fr. Cary’s story:

The Rev. Liam Cary returned to Eugene last June thinking his unconventional journey to the priesthood had reached its resting point.

To lead the congregation at St. Mary Catholic Church in downtown Eugene — where during the 1980s he went from working as the parish janitor to serving as a deacon — seemed like the right calling for the 64-year-old.

“It seemed very fitting to me to come back here,” Cary said. “I said my first Mass here at this church.

“When I came back this summer, many people said I was coming home.”

Toward the end of the article is this note:

Fr. Rick Fischer
Following his upcoming weeklong trip to Rome, Cary will be ordained bishop on May 18 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bend. Working as Cary’s right-hand man will be Vicar General Rick Fischer, an old friend of Cary who attended Mount Angel Seminary with him during the 1960s.

As a freshman, Fischer remembers looking up to Cary, who was a senior and the student body president.

“I was pretty starstruck that the student body president would even talk to me, a lowly freshman,” Fischer said. “Even back then he was well-liked. He’s a very kind person, kind person, very down to Earth.”


Bishops, Cathedrals, and the Diocese of Baker

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

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