With trust in Jesus Christ and in the Providential Plan of our Heavenly Father, I accept with eagerness and joy the appointment of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as the Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Relying on the grace of God and the prayers of Our Lady, I pledge to our Holy Father my filial obedience and fraternal affection.I am so eager to come to know my brother priests as well as deacons, religious and all the faithful in the parishes and missions of the Diocese of St. Thomas and to continue the good work of His Excellency Bishop George V. Murry and his dedicated predecessors.
May the Lord Jesus give me the grace to proclaim the Holy Gospel with vigor, to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries with reverence and devotion, and to provide pastoral leadership in a spirit of charity and joy.
I am grateful to Msgr. Michael F. Kosak, who has so ably served as diocesan administrator since Bishop Murry's transfer to the Diocese of Youngstown in 2007. His care for the priests and people of the Diocese of St. Thomas is known by all the faithful. Only I know of the solicitude and kindness which he has shown to me since he has learned of my appointment.
For thirty-six years I have been privileged to serve the Church of Philadelphia as a priest. I am thankful to His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali for his goodness to me. In extending my deepest gratitude to him, I also extend my appreciation to his predecessors and to all the priests and people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I express special gratitude and affection to my beloved parishioners of St. Athanasius Church who have been a cause of great joy in my life.
With great anticipation, I await my ordination at the hands of His Excellency Metropolitan Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and my installation as Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands on the Third of September 2008 at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in Charlotte Amalie. Confident of the help of God, I commend all my efforts to His greater honor and glory and I consecrate them anew to the spread of His Kingdom on earth.