Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/1/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The faithful of the Diocese of Lincoln have received a tremendous gift from the Lord.

Bishop James Conley is one of those whom I have called "Benedict's Bishops". He was installed as the Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska at 2 pm on November 20, 2012 in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ. His homily, reflecting this holy man, was focused on holiness. Clearly the New Evangelization has taken root in the heart and the ministry of Bishop James Conley.

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/1/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, New Evangelization, dynamic orthodoxy, Pope Benedict XVI, St Gregory the Great Seminary, Bishops, Benedicts Bishops, Deacon Keith Fournier


LINCOLN, NB (Catholic Online) - I make it a regular task to call attention to the wonderful Bishops we have in the Catholic Church in the United States. Benedict the Builder is placing the Foundation stones in place upon which will be built a firm foundation for the Church in the United States. She is being secured and made ready for the challenges we face.

From the beginning of his service to the Church, Pope Benedict XVI has been about rebuilding the Church. When this papacy is recounted in history, I believe that Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic work will be credited with having re-secured the Catholic Church in a time of trial so that she could inaugurate the new missionary age of the Third Millennium. His appointment of Bishops is a key to that entire undertaking.

I believe that Pope Benedict XVI will also be credited with stemming the slide of western civilization into a new paganism. Of course, there is much work to be done. The Church is the only hope to preventing such a slide. She is not some irritant, preventing progress, she is the very path to authentic progress and human flourishing.

In continuity with the 2,000 year teaching of the Catholic Church and helping to ensure that the proper  understanding of the Second Vatican Council within a hermeneutic of continuity, Pope Benedict XVI is re-securing the foundation stones of the Catholic Church in the United States in many ways.

His selection of Bishops proceeds from his unwavering conviction that the Catholic Church - and the message of authentic and true human progress which she offers the world - is what is most needed in this critical hour in human history. Pope Benedict XVI is placing in pastoral leadership over the Catholic Church precisely the kind of Shepherds we need in this vital moment of Church history.

Bishop James Conley is one of those whom I have called "Benedict's Bishops" in my articles over the last year. He was installed as the Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska at 2 pm on November 20, 2012 in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ. His homily, reflecting this holy man, was focused on holiness.

He turned first to his brother Bishops, telling them, "If the Church is to flourish in the world today, if the New Evangelization is to really take root, if we are to truly build a culture of life, holiness must begin with us." He then spoke to his priests, asking for their prayer and pledging his own for them.  He told them, "You were made for greatness. We are all made for greatness. And your bishop wants nothing more from you than sanctity. The Church needs holy priests now more than ever. "

In a beautiful homily on the Sacred Heart, he told all present that "Our sufferings can transform our hearts into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They can allow us to love as Christ loves". His affirming challenge to holiness was extended to the consecrated religious, seminarians and to the lay faithful whom he reminded, "Your greatest vocation is to holiness. Your holiness can transform the world."

Bishop Conley's appointment to succeed the heroic defender of Catholic orthodoxy, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, was a welcome announcement. He is a true son of the Catholic Church who understands the great gift of the teaching Magisterium. He is unabashedly and uncompromisingly Catholic to the core. Yet, he also has that extra asset so necessary in our age, the gift of evangelical joy.

Bishop Conley is only 57 years old. He is dynamic, spiritually and physically. I met him several years ago when I spoke at the Diocesan Conference in Denver. However, I had followed his heroic defense of unborn children - and admired his courageous support of those who stood on the front line of the Pro-Life effort - for many years.

I was well aware of his dynamically orthodox Catholic Christian faith through the testimonies of people whose lives he had touched with his infectious love for the Lord and His Church. They were always eager to share their experiences. That should be the hallmark of a truly good Bishop,  that the faithful not only love him but bear witness to his ministry in their own lives. 

He also has a compelling life witness. Bishop Conley was raised in a Presbyterian family in Wichita. He hungered for the fullness of truth and entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church when he was a junior at the University of Kansas. It is an interesting fact of contemporary Catholic life that so many Christians from other communities are not only entering the Church but becoming a much needed resource for its genuine renewal.

One has only to look on the bookshelves in Catholic and other Christian bookstores, or check the CD and DVD rack in the back of so many parishes, to see what I mean. "Converts" and "Reverts" (former or fallen away Catholics who return home) have become one of the greatest resources of the new Evangelization in the Church.

They have encountered the Risen Lord and want to live in His Body the Church. They deeply appreciate and understand the gift of the fullness of the Catholic Faith and want to both know the teaching of the Church and live it fully. They are what I call "Catholic by Choice".  

The Bishop entered the seminary four years after he graduated from College and was ordained for the Diocese of Wichita in 1985. He is one of the many treasures of the Church who were trained at Mount St Mary's in Emmitsburg.

He has a deep knowledge of - and devotion to - Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, another noteworthy convert to the Catholic Church. His Episcopal motto is "cor ad cor loquitur," which means "heart speaks to heart". That was John Henry Cardinal Newman's motto as well.

As a priest, Fr. Conley served fruitfully as a College Chaplain and for ten years as an official in the Vatican Congregation for Bishops in Rome.  His Episcopal service to the Church began in 2008 when he was ordained an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Denver under Archbishop Charles Chaput.

It was during the time he was in Denver that I had the privilege of meeting Bishop Conley. What was immediately evident in the encounter was his deep, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a man of great personal and pastoral warmth. Immediately upon meeting him you feel welcomed and cared for.

He has a gift of evangelical joy which catches you in its hopeful grasp and shakes any cynicism out of your weary bones. Let's face it, these are trying times and the struggle can wear on you.  When you encounter this Bishop, you just want to be in his presence. The experience reminded me of how people must have experienced Jesus when they encountered him. That should have come as no surprise I guess. This is a truly holy man.  

However, like so many of the episcopal appointments being made by His Holiness Benedict XVI, Bishop Conley possesses that dynamic living faith so vitally important in the times in which we live. He has had that "encounter" with the Lord which Pope Benedict so often addresses. He is, in the best sense of the phrase, an "evangelical" Catholic. In that regard, he reminds me of another great Bishop, the president of the Bishops conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. 

So, I was not at all surprised when the new Bishop of Lincoln quoted the Cardinal Archbishop of New York in his homily at the installation: "Last week in Baltimore, Cardinal Dolan put it like this: 'we cannot engage culture unless we allow him to first engage us. And, if we want the New Evangelization to take root, it starts on our knees with the conversion of our own hearts,"

Clearly the New Evangelization has taken root in the heart and the ministry of Bishop James Conley. The faithful of the Diocese of Lincoln have received a tremendous gift from the Lord.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


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


Comments


More U.S.

Infant Exposure: Newborn Baby Rescued from a Dumpster Reunited with Hero Who Saved Him

Image of Officer Michael Buelna reunited with the baby he had saved from the trash, twenty five year old Robin Barton.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Michael Buelna is a Police Officer in Santa Ana, California. In 1989 he heard a sound coming from a trash bin. When he looked closely, he discovered a newborn baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached. The child was only four hours old. He weighed four ... continue reading


It just might be the largest eruption ever! Fire in the belly - much more magma underneath Yellowstone volcano than thought Watch

Image of The recently discovered magma reservoir alone has a volume 2.5 times that of the Grand Canyon. However, these new expanses do not mean that the two hellish hollows could overflow the Grand Canyon with molten rock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A research group, using seismic technology to scan Yellowstone National Park's depths has made a literally earth-shaking discovery. Yellowstone's magma reserves are many magnitudes greater than previously thought, making the notion of an eruption far more ... continue reading


Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Another scandal shakes Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions as IRS reports she took millions from foreign governments Watch

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken another hit to her reputation with new information coming out that could compromise her chances at becoming president or even the Democratic nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recent information has ... continue reading


Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters soon to be seen plastered around New York City Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After being the center of a legal debate, posters with the statement, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" are going to soon be seen plastered on New York City buses and subways due to the victory of American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) against ... continue reading


Where will the next big quake be? It may not be in California Watch

Image of The American midwest is seeing a rise in the number of earthquakes, likely caused by fracking for oil and natural gas.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Central and eastern portions of the U.S. have been suffering from a spate of earthquakes over the last few years, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes that human activity may be responsible for this uptick. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Geological ... continue reading


Bishop Robert Finn's resignation officially accepted by the Vatican Watch

Image of Bishop Finn served a two-year suspended sentence and the diocese was fined $1.1 million. Finn remained at his administrative duties until just recently and did not serve any jail time as a result of the conviction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican has announced the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph. "The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert W Finn from the pastoral governance" of his diocese, the Vatican said in a statement. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Spill all of their blood' Suburban American girl joins ISIS, encourages others to terrorize 'non-believers' Watch

Image of Hoda Muthana was described as a quiet girl in school.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hoda Muthana, 20, shocked her entire suburban community when she joined the extremist Islamic State back in November. Muthana was allegedly brainwashed by the terrorist group when she fled to Syria using her university tuition fee. The young American refused to go back ... 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 11:1-18
1 The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
2 I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:1-10
1 'In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 27th, 2015 Image

St. Zita
April 27: St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her ... 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