• Bishop Matthew H. Clark

Pending birth influences schedules

Catholic Courier    |    10.20.2003
Category: From the Bishop


There is a great deal of excitement in our family these days. We are all eager to celebrate the birth of the first child for my niece Kathleen and her husband, Mark Grignon. In the very early stages of her pregnancy, the doctor indicated that Tiberius -- as Kathleen has called her baby from the beginning -- would arrive at the end of October. Later developments led him to believe that the infant might come sooner than that.

We all have our predictions of date of arrival. gender and weight registered in a family pool. Since we back those predictions with a hefty one dollar, you can tell that the competition is more for bragging rights than for wealth.

I chose October 31 as the date of birth and 8 pounds, 1 ounce for the weight. I predict that this new treasure will be a girl. I have told you before that I have hoped for years that Kathleen would one day have a daughter just like herself. Two reasons for that -- to double our joy and to let Kathleen know exactly what her mother has gone through all these years!

This family reference reminds me that there may be a family gathering of some size here next weekend. It started when Grace and I picked that time for another of her occasional weekend visits. Shortly after we agreed on that time, I had an e-mail from Margaret who heard about what was afoot and wondered if she and Jane and their kids could join the party.

Of course, I am delighted that they are coming. I don’t get to see any of them nearly as often as I would like. The children who will gather here are 8, 6, 3, and 1 years of age. As you know, you miss a lot when you don’t see them often at those ages.

Much as I am looking forward to seeing them all, I am mindful that all bets might be off if Tiberius decides to come along at the end of the week. If that’s that case, my guess is that Grace will stay in Waterford and Margaret and Jane will head there, too. Even Tiberius’ great uncle might make a quick round trip.

Kathleen and Mark have invited me to baptize Tiberius on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, a time when the whole family can gather to celebrate that wonderful event.

I’ll let you know when the baby comes. In the meantime, I ask you prayers for Kathleen and Mark and their child.

Regarding family of a different kind; the Holy See announced this week that Pope John Paul II has appointed our friend and neighbor, Bishop Henry Mansell, bishop of Buffalo, as archbishop of Hartford, Conn., succeeding Archbishop Daniel Cronin, who is retiring.

I am happy for Henry and for the church of Hartford. But, we will miss him as our neighbor to the west. And, certainly, the bishops of our province will miss his very significant contributions to our work together. In a more personal way, I’ll miss Henry in this area because we’ve been friends for 44 years, beginning when we were classmates at the North American College in Rome.

You may recall that Bishop Mansell is the third bishop of our state who will be going on to other things during this calendar year. Bishop Tom Daily of Brooklyn retired. Bishop Jerry Barbarito of Ogdensburg was transferred to the Diocese of West Palm Beach in Florida. Bishop Nick DiMarzio succeeded Bishop Daily. It will be a while, I think, before successors are named for Bishop Mansell and Bishop Barbarito. Please pray for all of these good men and for our sisters and brothers in the local churches in which they offered such generous service.

Peace to all.

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