Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

4/15/2009 (6 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 (6 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... continue reading


UC Santa Barbara massacre survivor speaks on the day's events and his journey to recovery Watch

Image of www.thisischriswhite.com

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fateful night of May 23, 2014, Antoine Cherchian managed to survive being shot by the virgin killer, Elliot Rodger, during his killing spree at UC Santa Barbara. While Cherchian sustained fatal injuries, along with six other students murdered, he is thankful for ... continue reading


Crackdown by federal agents on 'Pill Mills' in four southern states Watch

Image of An average of 44 people in the U.S. dies every day from opioids. These drugs include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration and other authorities are raiding pharmacies, pain clinics and other facilities in four southern U.S. states. It is all part of an aggressive crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Matt C. Abbott: Why I wrote Pope Francis about an exorcist

Image of Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of Robbie, the teenaged boy whose case inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist, which subsequently was made into a feature film.

By Matt C. Abbott

Here's one name I haven't heard mentioned in regard to possible canonization, yet it seems he'd be a good candidate: Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern, who was born in 1897 and died in 1983, was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of "Robbie," ... continue reading


FBI lectures High school students on resisting ISIS recruitment Watch

Image of The FBI is planning to take its message to other schools in the Tri-State Area to reach kids at critical adolescent ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

High school students at Bergen County School, in Bergen County, New Jersey got a surprise lecture from FBI agents. They warned students away from sophisticated new techniques used by Islamic State to join their ranks. In particular, a new ISIS-produced video ... continue reading


Bin Laden's secret files: What we found and what's been released Watch

Image of The U.S. Department of National Intelligence has released a report of documents that were captured during the May 1, 2011 raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has begun declassifying and releasing documents that were captured during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, and some of what has been released shows that America's number one enemy for almost a decade was obsessed with ... continue reading


Are there weapons aboard? U.S. Air Force space shuttle's secret contents no longer a secret Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space shuttle, launched into Earth's orbit, was revealed not to contain weapons as many feared. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the published manifest, the space shuttle carries a new form of Hall ion-powered ... continue reading


Catholic University removes insensitive mural honoring convicted killer Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marquette University in Wisconsin has officially taken down a mural of Assata Shakur, one of the FBI's most wanted. Shakur was convicted of killing a state trooper in New Jersey before fleeing to Cuba in 1973. The Catholic university's authorities were warned of the ... continue reading


As John Wayne would say, YO! America's biggest ranch up for sale for $725 million Watch

Image of  The Waggoner Ranch includes the 510,000-acre ranch spread over six North Texas counties, with two main compounds, hundreds of homes, about 20 cowboy camps, hundreds of quarter horses, thousands of heads of cattle, and 30,000 acres of cultivated land.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Waggoner Ranch, America's biggest ranch stretches over 510,000 continuous acres, or 796 square miles, making it a plot of land bigger than the island of Oahu and New York City. It is up for sale for $725 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Realtors are hoping ... continue reading


See what is REALLY killing Americans with macabre 'Death Map' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While heart disease and cancer are the most common killers in the United States, a new map proves that these causes vary from state to state. Said "Death Map" shows the most distinctive cause of death, which is the rate higher than the national average. LOS ... 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, Acts 2:1-11
1 When Pentecost day came round, they had all met ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:19-23
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
3 Because of that, I want to make it quite clear to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2015 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland’s virtuous queen, (Saint) ... 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