On Sunday afternoon, I spent time on French Road in Pittsford in the
chapel of the new St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.
The occasion of this visit was to lead a blessing to commemorate the
installation of five magnificent stained-glass windows that once
adorned the Chapel of Divine Compassion in Sonyea.
The windows depict the Gospel stories of the child presenting his
loaves and fishes for the feeding of the multitude, the restoration of
sight to the blind man, the raising of the son of the widow of Naim,
the anointing of Jesus’ feet by the woman, and Jesus drawing the
children to himself.
Even an amateur like myself could spend a good deal of time
attending to the detail of this incredible work. In and through the
artist’s detail, the believer is drawn to an awareness of the spiritual
power and significance of the events portrayed. I hope that you will
visit SBSTM, not only to see the windows but also to come to know this
new center for training in theology and ministry. It will add much to
the richness of the life of our diocese.
I visited SBSTM earlier in the week as well. I met there with 34 of
our priests in the third of four informal conversations to which I had
invited them. We had one at St. Mary Our Mother, Horseheads; another at
St. Mary, Auburn; the third at SBSTM and the last at the new Bishop
Dennis Hickey Conference Center at our diocesan Pastoral Center.
It was a pleasure to have such informal, unstructured opportunities
to be with these generous men. Our conversations touched upon many
subjects — on some more extensively than on others. Receiving most
attention were our current, on-going work on Partners in Faith;
the demands, opportunities and responsibilities attaching to priestly
ministry in today’s church; and, the need and desire for a greater
number of candidates for ordination to the priesthood.
The consensus at the conclusion of the meeting is that it is a good
thing for priests and bishop to gather on a regular basis to talk about
issues and questions that are of common interest to us and to the
people we serve. We’ll be thinking about future meetings and how best
to promote such healthy conversations.
I’ll be leaving tomorrow for a meeting on lay ecclesial ministry
sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for
the Laity. It will be held at a motel near La Guardia Airport and will
draw small delegations from each of the eight dioceses in our state.
Each bishop was asked to invite to the meeting one pastor who is well
experienced in working with lay ministers, an experienced lay minister
and a person responsible for training lay ministers. Representing those
categories from our diocese will be, respectively: Father Ed Palumbos,
pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption, Fairport; Charlotte Bruney,
pastoral administrator of St. Vincent DePaul in Churchville; and Sister
Patricia Schoelles, SSJ, president of SBSTM. I look forward very much
to what promises to be a rich experience.
As of this writing (Monday, October 27), Tiberius Vladimir continues
to enjoy the peace and quiet of his mother’s womb. My dear niece
Kathleen is doing well, thank God, but will be happy when she sees her
newborn child face-to-face and presents her or him to a waiting world.
Please keep them both in your prayers.
I hope all goes well with you and your loved ones.
Peace to all.