Bishop brings warmth on frigid installation day - Catholic Courier
A worker clears the snow-covered walkway in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester Jan. 2, where Bishop Salvatore R. Matano's installation Mass was held the following day. A worker clears the snow-covered walkway in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester Jan. 2, where Bishop Salvatore R. Matano's installation Mass was held the following day.

Bishop brings warmth on frigid installation day

Minus 14. So the local TV news claimed for a wind chill on the morning of Jan. 3. Think that’s cold? The same map showed Burlington, Vt., at minus 22.

So it must have seemed like a veritable heat wave for Bishop Salvatore Matano, who that afternoon was installed as Rochester’s ninth bishop after eight years of leading the Burlington Diocese.

With many inches of snow accompanying the cold, travel conditions for the installation proved daunting. I, meanwhile, got to Sacred Heart Cathedral fine but encountered a different danger. Before Mass in the narthex, I turned a corner quickly and almost walked right into some Knights of Columbus — just as they’d begun practicing the drawing of their swords. What a headline that would make: "Bishop installed; writer impaled."

A moment later, I was given another vivid memory involving the Knights. Bishop Matano, who had suddenly surfaced on the way to vesting, stopped to chat with them. From what I can tell he seems to do this routinely, meeting and greeting just about anybody — a warm presence completely contrary to the icy outdoors.

There he was again at the end of Mass, smiling and waving his hand in blessing to the throngs of worshipers as he processed down the center aisle. I think of the good cheer that Pope Francis has engendered worldwide in his first year, and how Bishop Matano seems well on his way to attaining a similar reputation locally.

That means a lot to me, a lifelong Rochesterian who was baptized during Bishop Kearney’s tenure, received first reconciliation and Communion during Bishop Sheen’s, was confirmed during Bishop Hogan’s, and was married during Bishop Clark’s.

Many things are still to be learned about Bishop Matano, but it certainly appears we can be assured of his warmth. In all kinds of weather.

 

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