This morning I am on my way back to my former Archdiocese of Indianapolis. On Wednesday this week, they will ordain a new auxiliary bishop. The last auxiliary bishop in Indianapolis was ordained in 1933, Bishop Joseph Ritter, who later became Cardinal Archbishop of St. Louis.
Bishop Christophe Coyne was a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston. From what I am told, he has made a good first impression with the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Much to my surprise, Bishop-elect Coyne called me shortly after he was nominated, and asked me to be a co-ordaining bishop at his ordination. To say the least, I was flattered, and quickly accepted the invitation. Bishop ordinations require three bishops, one as the principal, and two co-ordaining bishops, to show the collegiality and communion of the episcopacy.
Part of the joy of the moment will be returning to beautiful St. John Church in downtown Indianapolis where I served as pastor for a brief time. At one point in its early day, St. John served as the pro-Cathedral, when the see city was moved from Vincennes to Indianapolis, while a new Cathedral was being built. Bishop Coyne will live at St. John, and this is where the ordination will take place. Congratulations, Bishop Coyne!
There is also some sadness in my being away from the Diocese this week. I will miss two Confirmation celebrations; one at the Cathedral, which also includes young people from Pine Bluffs, and the other in Torrington. So, to each of these students, I wish to say that even though I am unable to be with you, and confer this special sacrament, you will be especially in my prayers each of those respective evenings!
Finally, while we are on the topic of episcopal ordinations, we received word Friday that a classmate of mine was named auxiliary bishop of Pittsbugh, Fr. William J. Waltersheid of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Bishop-elect has quite an intellect. He was a delayed vocation, as myself, and worked as a psychological nurse prior to entering the seminary. He is gifted with languages as well as philosophy, and of course, has a deep spirituality and devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Bishop-elect Waltersheid will be ordained the Monday after Easter Sunday, and will be a fine bishop, I’m sure! He has a great personality, and is very good with people, and has a good pastoral sense. Congratulations, Bishop Waltersheid!