June 8, 2010
Praised be Jesus Christ!
With gratitude to God and with reliance upon His mercy, I accept and rejoice in my appointment as an auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia.
I renew my commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and give thanks to God the Father before all of you for the gift of eternal life which He has given all of us through His Son. What a blessing to share in the victory of Jesus over sin and death through faith and the sacraments of the Church! What a blessing to be, through this gift, a member of His Church, in which I have found grace, guidance and strength. How proud I am to be a Catholic!
I am grateful to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for calling me to be a Bishop in the Church. I renew my fidelity and loyalty to him and promise to serve to the best of my ability in the office which the Church now entrusts to me. What a marvelous and indispensable part of God=s plan for the Church is the ministry of Peter, which Pope Benedict XVI now exercises and through which he confirms the Church in faith and unity.
I am also grateful to the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. When I spoke to him to express my gratitude and convey my acceptance of this appointment, the Nuncio told me to accept this appointment Awith gratitude, joy and humility.@ What wise advice to a new Bishop.
Your Eminence, Cardinal Rigali, I thank you for your confidence in me and for the example of your priestly and episcopal ministry. I have seen first hand your faith, your tireless zeal for Christ and His Church and your merciful compassion and patience. I am deeply honored to be able to assist you as your auxiliary Bishop in your office of governing, sanctifying and teaching the faithful of this wonderful Archdiocese, which stretches from the city of Philadelphia through Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties. I look forward to working with my soon to be brother Bishops - Bishop McFadden, Bishop Thomas and Bishop Senior.
Bishop Maginnis, thank you for your many years of service to us as a priest and as an auxiliary Bishop. At a recent meeting, a few of the priests present decided to chide Bishop Maginnis about the timing of the acceptance of his resignation by Pope Benedict XVI by chanting to him, AFour more years!@. While I know that Bishop Maginnis would be of service in any way he could, I don=t think he was too amused.
I am so grateful for the love and example of my parents, Tom and Blanche McIntyre, who are with us this morning. I have no doubt that whatever good or virtue may exist in me, it is there due to the persistent grace of God and the example and efforts of my parents. Thank you mom and dad.
I also thank my brother, Tom, and his wife, Kim, and my nephews and niece, T.J, Ashley and Ryan and my brother, Brian, along with my aunts and uncles and cousins. I am blessed with a wonderful family.
I am grateful in a particular way for my brother priests. This Archdiocese is blessed with many wonderful and dedicated priests who quietly and faithfully go about their work each and every day, making it possible for the people of God to encounter the Lord within His Church through the sacraments and the preaching of the Word of God. They don=t make the news and their work is done without much fanfare or notice. And yet, the Church cannot exist without them. Where would we be without them? Through their hands we are given the Body and Blood of the Lord and we receive the forgiveness of our sins.
For the last eighteen years I have had the singular privilege of being a Catholic priest. What a joy to know the will of God in your life and to be given the grace to follow it! What a joy for me to know that the will of God for me is a share in the Priesthood of His Son Jesus Christ. I can think of no greater honor than celebrating Mass each day and being about the many and varied responsibilities that make up the day of a priest. It has been a privilege for me to serve as a parochial vicar in my first assignment at Saint Dominic=s in Holmesburg in Northeast Philadelphia, then as a parochial vicar at Saint Mark=s in Bristol and then as secretary to Cardinal Bevilacqua and up until today as secretary to Cardinal Rigali. I am confident that God, who sustained me in each of these assignments, will now be with me to sustain me as a Bishop.
Lastly, I ask, I beg for your prayers as I prepare for Ordination as a Bishop on August 6. I am confident that your prayers will assist me and be a source of strength. Pray that I may have ever more and more a heart like that of Jesus the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the flock. Pray that I may accept this assignment with Agratitude, joy and humility.@
Thank you and God bless you.