Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bishop Finn Marks Six Years in Kansas City: Everything is a Grace

From this week’s edition of The Catholic Key:

Six Years and Growing: Everything is a Grace

By Most Rev. Robert W. Finn

I am writing this in the early morning hours of Tuesday, well aware of my press deadline. It is March 9 and I can’t help but recall that six years ago I was cooling it in the Downtown Marriott waiting for a noon press conference – and to meet the community of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

I don’t think I realized yet that I was the “easterner from St. Louis,” or some “extreme traditionalist who loves Latin.” (NCR).

Rather I was more likely thinking how a priest who had served half his priesthood with high school kids in semi-rural assignments, and who had never worked in a chancery office, had gotten here. More than that – I didn’t know how I would fulfill this work that God was placing on my shoulders.

Since then, and shortly into my term I would begin to meet the people who would make my ministry possible. And I met a few who, I must admit, would hesitate to accept me – and still do today. These are challenges we all face! Let’s never give up on each other. Six years later I can say, “Everything is a Grace.”

When I celebrated those first ten Masses around the Diocese, I met so many of you, and I began to discover first hand the grace and prayers that had already been supporting me for the first months since the March 1st phone call and the March 9th formal appointment. Bishop Boland was and continues to be a good “Father” to me and I am grateful that Providence put us together.

From the start, and I said this early on in 2004, I felt strength and relief that I had been named in Joseph’s month (March) and consecrated in Mary’s month (May 3). Again and again I place myself – even more, I place the Diocese – in their hands, and under their protection.

Please pray for me as I approach five years as Ordinary of the Diocese. God willing, I have about 18 years left before my 75th birthday and I will have to write my letter of retirement. This is time to get to know (and love) each other more. I am still hoping for the big donation designated to build the bishops’ crypt under the Cathedral at 12th and Broadway. My lasting home (and yours!) is heaven, until then I am thankful every day to be here.

Here are two important June dates to save:

Sunday, June 6, is Corpus Christi. Particulars are still being finalized, but we will have our annual Eucharistic Procession in the early afternoon. Join us.

Wednesday, June 16th is the Feast of St. John Francis Regis, secondary patron of the Diocese. We will celebrate the Feast formally this year at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 7:00 p.m. Did you know that the first log church on the site of the Cathedral was named for this French Jesuit (Regis, d. 1640) who wanted to come to America to spread the Gospel? Everyone is welcome at this Mass.