Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

From the Diocesan Administrator:
Welcome, Bishop Daly!

by Father Michael Savelesky

(From the March 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Michael Savelesky Conversation around the Catholic Pastoral Center (Chancery) these past few weeks increasingly has focused on the Second Coming of Christ – the parousia. The teasing question has been raised: Which will come first, the parousia, or the naming of the next Bishop of Spokane?

As St. Paul was wont to intimate in his letters to various early communities of faith during a post-Resurrection/Ascension era, since Jesus did not come back yesterday, then probably he will do so today … and if not today, then certainly tomorrow. St. Paul wrote in an era of genuine expectancy.

With each passing day, the staff at the Catholic Pastoral Center – and others throughout the Diocese – have asked me about news concerning our next Chief Shepherd. My response has been: “If not yesterday, then perhaps today…..” The longer we have waited for news – and have read about other priests or bishops being assigned to other dioceses – the more the interest has intensified.

To compare this wait to our wait for the Second Coming is a bit exaggerated, of course. And now we know which event has come first: the selection by Pope Francis of Bishop Thomas Daly to be the seventh Bishop of Spokane! And as we continue to await the coming of Jesus, Christ’s mission will continue in our diocese under the shepherding and leadership of a new face. We are blessed to witness in our midst another turn in apostolic succession.

The timing could not have been better. The news of Bishop Daly’s transfer from serving the Church as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., to the See of Spokane broke just as this issue of the Inland Register was being prepared. We are most fortunate to be able to include Bishop Daly’s photo as well as an article about him in this issue.

Last week I had the privilege of quietly greeting our new bishop at Spokane International Airport when he flew in for the press conference which would announce his appointment. We discussed details of his installation at the Cathedral this coming May. The timing of the press conference made for some pressured hours as I had to quietly prepare the staff at the Catholic Pastoral Center and notify the priests of the diocese of its occurrence. Bishop Daly’s ongoing commitments in the Diocese of San Jose made it necessary for him to catch a same-day return flight home.

Those who now have had the opportunity to meet our new bishop and converse with him have encountered a warm heart which is obviously attuned to Pope Francis’s call for a servant Church which engages in a new evangelization. Bishop Daly’s experience as pastor, educator, vocations director and bishop will enable him to hit the ground running the day after his installation. His work files and the many information folders the administrators of the diocese have been compiling already are being arranged in neat stacks in the office which awaits him in the Pastoral Center.

On his way to his press conference at Bishop White Seminary, Bishop Daly stopped by the Pastoral Center to meet briefly with the administrators and staff who will support him in his ministry throughout the diocese. In the third-floor conference room hang portraits of the six former bishops of the diocese. The six – Bishops Schinner, White, Topel, Welsh, Skylstad and Cupich – serve as icons of the history of our diocese. Bishop Daly’s photo will join the galley someday – but, we hope, not for many years to come!

Indeed, over the first 100 years of the history of our diocese, bishops have come and gone. Each has had his unique personality and each has helped shape the mission of Christ in this part of the State of Washington. Each has brought his individual charism, his personal strengths – and his weaknesses, too – as he has said “yes” to the call of the Church to die to self and live for the people of God who form the parishes, missions and institutions of our diocese.

By the very nature of Church, the diocese needs a bishop. In a very real sense, he is its human embodiment. Church does not happen in the abstract, but in real time and place, with real people. Likewise, the bishop needs us – the priests, deacons, Religious and the rest of the faithful who, in union with him, as he bears his miter and shepherd’s crook, form the Body of Christ. As this year’s continuing Annual Catholic Appeal champions, We Are the Diocese.

We welcome Bishop Daly with hearts which are generous in love, and hands which are eager to continue the task of carrying out the mission entrusted to us. Grateful for his service, we pledge to support him with our prayers.

Thank you, Bishop Daly, for saying “yes” to lead us in our continuing journey of faith! God bless you in every way!

(Father Savelesky is the elected administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.)

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