Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

4/15/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

On Wednesday, The Most Reverend Timothy Dolan will be officially installed as the 10th Archbishop for the See of New York. The complete text of his Vespers homily is included in our article.

Dear people of God, faithful Catholics of this archdiocese, you indeed are the “living stones” spoken of by Peter this evening, who give a smile, a voice, an embrace, a heart to the mystical body of Christ we call the Church, as you love faithfully in marriage, obey the “law of the gift” by caring for your children, who take the identity of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation so seriously, and who never fail to open up to the Jesus who stands and knocks at the doors of your homes, parishes, schools, offices, farms, factories, and professions. Thank you for your vocations, for sensing the universal call to holiness.

Dear people of God, faithful Catholics of this archdiocese, you indeed are the “living stones” spoken of by Peter this evening, who give a smile, a voice, an embrace, a heart to the mystical body of Christ we call the Church, as you love faithfully in marriage, obey the “law of the gift” by caring for your children, who take the identity of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation so seriously, and who never fail to open up to the Jesus who stands and knocks at the doors of your homes, parishes, schools, offices, farms, factories, and professions. Thank you for your vocations, for sensing the universal call to holiness.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/15/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in U.S.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – Archbishop Timothy Dolan knocked on the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 6:57pm, the traditional beginning for the reception of a new bishop.

Upon entering the Cathedral, the new Archbishop was met by his predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Pope Benedict XVI’s representative. Processing down the aisle, he sprinkled the people gathered with holy water.

Cardinal Egan addressed the crowd by saying, “This is a joyful occasion, as we receive our new archbishop and we assure him of our prayers, our support and our love.” He addressed the new bishop in a joking manner, saying, “Allow me to assure you, that’s the last time you’re going to have to knock twice to get into St. Pat’s.”

As the official Vatican representative, Archbishop Sambi read the Pope’s official letter of appointment. The letter was then shown to diocesan officials as a part of the ceremony confirming the appointment.

Archbishop Dolan preached his first sermon to his new flock as a part of the evening vespers service. The complete text of his homily is printed below.

The Tuesday evening vespers service served as an initial welcome to the new prelate, with Archbishop Dolan’s official installation taking place on Wednesday at an afternoon Mass.

Archbishop Dolan’s Vespers Homily:

Thank you, everybody, for opening the door and letting me in when I knocked! It sure is good to be at home with all of you!

As I look out with heartfelt affection and appreciation at you good people who just opened the door and let me in, I embrace eminent cardinals -- especially my esteemed predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan -- brother bishops, Archbishop Sambi and Archbishop Migliore, brother priests, deacons, and seminarians, women and men consecrated religious, representatives of every vicariate in this expansive archdiocese, parish leaders, respected civic and ecumenical partners, dear Mom, family, loyal friends from St. Louis, D.C., Kansas City, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Rome, Ireland, Australia -- brothers and sisters all:

Thanks for opening the door wide enough even for me to get in.

Thanks for welcoming me so warmly as your new pastor!

Thanks for already making me feel at home!

Thanks for letting me into your lives!

I am so glad you are here! And it sure beats sitting at home doing our last-minute tax returns, doesn’t it?

You realize the statement we are making this evening. As I begin my apostolic ministry as your new shepherd, there is nothing more effective, more appropriate, more powerful that we can do than pray, pray as the Church. Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly exhorts us that every project, every initiative, should begin with adoration -- praising the God without whom we can do nothing, with whom everything is possible, humbly placing our dreams, fears, hopes, and trust in His omnipotent hands. That we do this evening.

A special word of greeting to our Jewish friends, now concluding Passover, and, un abrazo especial a nuestra querida comunidad Latina por ser obsequio y promesa para esta arquidiócesis.

Thanks, most of all, everyone, for opening the doors of your hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ!

He it is, of course, who stands at the portal of every soul and gently knocks. Life’s most pivotal question then becomes whether we will open the door of our existence and let Him in, to receive incomparable light, love, mercy, and friendship, or whether we will remain closed-up in darkness, self-absorption, sin, and isolation.

So did St. Peter in God’s Word this evening prayer exhort us to “Come to the Lord!”

So did St. Peter’s successor, John Paul the Great, inspire the world when he challenged us, at his first Mass as Pope, to “open wide the doors to Christ.”

So did Pope Benedict XVI, in his inaugural Mass, invite us to “open-up in friendship with Jesus.”

One of my favorite illustrations of Jesus is the familiar one of Him standing outside the door of a simple home, gently knocking. In second grade at Holy Infant School in Ballwin, Missouri, my teacher, Sister Mary Bosco Daly, who this evening, fresh from Ireland, just read our scripture passage from St. Peter, asked us to look closely at that picture and see if we noticed anything strange. “Yes,” Carolyn Carey finally raised her hand and blurted out, “there is no door knob!”

“Right,” observed Sister Bosco, “because Jesus cannot open up and barge in on His own. He patiently waits for us to open the door of our hearts and invite Him in to stay with us.”

That lesson alone, Mom, was worth all the sacrifices you and Dad made to send us five kids to Catholic school.

Because that’s the ultimate question, in the end the only one that really counts: will we open up in faith, hope, and love to the God who gently knocks on the door to our being, asking Him in to live with us? Or will fear, self-absorption, and darkness keep us locked up in ourselves?

The Church is at her best, faithful to her mission, when she invites people to open the door and ask Jesus in. That’s precisely the invitation this Archdiocese of New York extends; that’s the proposal the Church makes to the world. As Bernini explained the massive colonnade surrounding St. Peter’s Square, “Those are the arms of Mother Church reaching out to embrace all people!”

This is the “theology of invitation” articulated by the servant of God, John Paul II.

God invites us . . . never coerces . . . God invites us to believe in Him, trust Him, accept Him. God invites us to let Him be the Lord of our life; and when we do, our lives are never the same; our lives will last forever!

Jesus, His son, is the invitation incarnate, as He invites us to a life of meaning, purpose, life to the fullest, life never-ending. To allow Him in is genuine freedom, the start of an adventure in fidelity. Living in the true liberty of Christ is not easy. It requires fidelity and heroic virtue. In our celebration days ago of Holy Week and Easter, we reverently recalled God’s liberation of the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt -- which our Jewish neighbors are now celebrating as Passover concludes -- and remembered how, during the Exodus, God gave us the gift of the Ten Commandments, lest this newly freed people would lapse back to the habits of slaves. When the Church proclaims the moral truth about the dignity of the human person, she helps us all live free.

Sadly, we have usually tragically said no to God’s invitation, most dramatically at the event we somberly recalled five days ago, Good Friday.

But we have a God who will not take no for an answer, as Easter demonstrates definitively.

And now Christ stands at the door and knocks, and the Church nudges us to open up and invite Him in!

But, you know all this, because this venerable Church of New York has been doing it for 201 years!

My brother priests, you are the ones who “open the door to the sacred” through Word and Sacraments. You do it so faithfully and so generously! I am so proud to call you “brothers”; I am so awestruck to be the elder brother of a presbyterate known for its zeal and devotion. I thank you, brother priests, for continuing to be agents of the divine invitation, and to you I pledge my life and love!

Consecrated women, vowed religious sisters, brothers, priests, for centuries you have opened the door to Christ identified with the sick, the immigrant, the troubled, the forgotten, and to millions of our children in our splendid schools, and who have loyally prayed without ceasing with and for the Church, this archdiocese owes you so very much. Please, keep opening the door to Jesus;

Our deacons, their loyal spouses, our devoted lay pastoral collaborators, please keep showing by your lives of service and joy that letting this Jesus in the door is a choice one never regrets;

Dear people of God, faithful Catholics of this archdiocese, you indeed are the “living stones” spoken of by Peter this evening, who give a smile, a voice, an embrace, a heart to the mystical body of Christ we call the Church, as you love faithfully in marriage, obey the “law of the gift” by caring for your children, who take the identity of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation so seriously, and who never fail to open up to the Jesus who stands and knocks at the doors of your homes, parishes, schools, offices, farms, factories, and professions. Thank you for your vocations, for sensing the universal call to holiness.

Realistically, though, we must confess that there’s so much lurking there to keep us from “opening the door” to Jesus!

There’s sin, fear, and sadness to keep us closed-up inside, evident in so many problems and worries: the scandal of clergy sexual abuse and caring for those hurt; the challenges of strengthening our parishes, schools, and charitable outreach; the threats to marriage, family, to the unborn baby and fragile human life at all stages; the need for vocations. The list is long and haunting.

There’s so much inside me, I don’t mind admitting, that was scared to open the door completely to Him, as I kept the chain-on, opened up just a crack, and heard Him invite me to serve Him and His Church as Archbishop of New York! I inwardly replied to Him:

“Go away, Lord! I’m not your man! My Spanish is lousy and my English not much better!”

“I’m still angry at New York for taking Favre and Sabbathia from us in Wisconsin!”

“The Yankees and Mets over the Cardinals and Brewers? Forget it!”

“Following the likes of Hughes, Hayes, Spellman, Cooke, O’Connor, and Egan! Sounds like McNamara’s band, and I’m not up to being part of it!”

Trepidation; unworthiness; anxiety; leave me to the beloved brats, beers, and cool summer lake breezes of Milwaukee where I’m secure and at home . . .

Yet He had his sandal in the door and would not let me shut Him out, as I heard the whisper of the One who says,

“Timothy, be not afraid!”

“My grace is sufficient…”

“Never do I invite one to a task without giving him/her the strength to do it!”

“I am with you all days.”

“Open up and let me in. . . ”

I recalled the words John Paul II spoke down the street at the United Nations: “We must not be afraid of the future. It is no accident that we are here. Every human person has been created in the image and likeness of the One who is the origin of all that is. We have within us the capacity for wisdom and heroic virtue. With these gifts, and with the help of God’s grace, we can build . . . a civilization worthy of the human person, a true culture of freedom, a culture of life. “

And this evening, when you opened those bronze doors to my knock, and I beheld a Church, an archdiocese, that has been opening the doors to Christ for 201 years, am I ever glad I listened to Him and took the chain off!

It is so great to be with you. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


America's foremost monster and madman Charles Manson intends to wed 26-year-old girl Watch

Image of A rare, recent prison photo of Charles Manson without his beard. The swastika on his forehead remains.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

His name alone strikes a chord even today, years after his murderous activities with his "family." Charles Manson's name is synonymous with madness and mayhem. The 80-year-old murderer now intends to marry a 26-year-old girl with a freshly obtained marriage ... continue reading


LOCKED AND LOADED - National Guard called to Ferguson as Missouri governor reacts to broadening crisis Watch

Image of The grand jury has been meeting for about three months to consider evidence on the shooting of 18-year-old Brown by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

National Guard called to Ferguson as Missouri governor reacts to broadening crisisPolice will reportedly 'maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech'Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)A state of emergency has been declared in the state of ... continue reading


What does this say about America? New study finds that child homelessness epidemic has reached a historic high Watch

Image of A new study has shown that 2.5 million children in the U.S. were homeless in 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a surge in recent years, a record number of children in the United States are homeless, and could be as high as one out of every 30, a recent report has revealed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report, titled "America's Youngest Outcasts," was ... continue reading


Why is Obama allowing foreign-designated terrorist groups to operate within the United States? Watch

Image of Protesters burn an American flag. The nation has many enemies, both within and without.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two "moderate," mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... continue reading


President Obama honors second man to die of Ebola in U.S. Watch

Image of Martin Salia, a Sierra Leone born surgeon is the second man to die of Ebola in the United States. Salia received a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another doctor has died from Ebola, marking the second person to die of the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Martin Salia, a Sierra Leone native whose family lived in Maryland, was flown to Nebraska Medical Center where he was placed in ... continue reading


Coming to the USA! Pope Francis announces 2015 trip to Philadelphia Watch

Image of Pope Francis will visit the U.S. in 2015, where he will the fourth sitting Pontiff to visit America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will be making his first trip to the United States in September of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope is going to visit Philadelphia for the World Meeting of the Families, a Catholic public event which ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 10:8-11
8 Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
14 In the way of your instructions lies my joy, a joy ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 19:45-48
45 Then he went into the Temple and began driving out ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 21st, 2014 Image

St. Gelasius
November 21: St. Gelasius I, Pope (Feast day - November 21) Gelasius was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter