Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Archbishop John Vlazny, Archdiocese of Portland
the Inland Register
(From the Aug. 19, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
On behalf of the province and archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, I welcome Bishop Blase Cupich to the wonderful world of the Northwest! Spokane has been blessed these many years with the pastoral care of Bishop William Skylstad, a native son. The blessings will continue, I am sure, with Bishop Cupich at the helm. He is an extraordinarily capable pastor and leader – a really nice guy, too! I am so grateful to him for his generous service to his brother bishops and all U.S. Catholics through his work in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. His presence here in Region XII will both enhance and solidify the cooperative efforts of the 11 archdioceses and dioceses and their bishops.
Twelve years ago I was privileged to attend the ordination of Bishop Cupich in the Diocese of Rapid City. It was a grand occasion and resulted in many marvelous initiatives in the service of the Gospel. I know a number of folks in western South Dakota today who are having a hard time saying goodbye. His experience as rector of the Josephinum Seminary assures Bishop White Seminary of governance and support that will be both wise and effective. His pastoral leadership back in his home archdiocese of Omaha provides him with a treasure chest full of experiences that are bound to strengthen the pastoral ministry of clergy, Religious and laity in Eastern Washington. His affability and fraternal spirit are welcome gifts for those of us who will be his friends and neighbors from the college of bishops here in the Northwest.
There’s good news for Bishop Cupich too. Spokane is a great diocese which has been capably guided the past 20 years by my friend, Bishop Bill Skylstad. Last year I was privileged to direct a retreat for the priests of the diocese. What a fine group of men! Bishop Cupich can count on both his priests and his predecessor for support and dedicated servant-ministry. So many fine lay leaders and pastoral ministers have come forward in the diocese of Spokane. They won’t disappoint their new shepherd, nor will he disappoint them.
As I welcome Bishop Cupich, I also take this opportunity to thank Bishop Skylstad for his outstanding support and collaboration as a brother bishop here in the Northwest. He was the first to welcome me when I arrived 13 years ago and he continues to be the “glue” that keeps us bishops together both in the good times and bad ones, too.
Yes, the folks in Spokane must say their prayers well, because God and Pope Benedict XVI have delivered on their fervent prayer for another holy, wise and faithful shepherd. Welcome, Brother Blase! Ad multos annos!
Archbishop John Vlazny, Archdiocese of Portland, Ore.