Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

It is always encouraging to me to hear a priest speak of his Bishop with respect and affection, like Fr Paul did of Bishop Joseph McFadden. It reminds me of what I believe is the most important character trait among the many vital and important aspects of the calling of a Diocesan Bishop. That is to be a spiritual father to the priests and deacons under his care.

Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden

Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Bishop Joseph McFadden, Fr Paul Schenck, pastors, Catholic Bishops, Deacon Keith Fournier


HARRISBURG, PA (Catholic Online) - The sudden death of the tenth Bishop of Harrisburg, Joseph Patrick McFadden shocked not only the faithful of the Diocese he cared for but many others who also held him in such high esteem. It is a great loss.  

The Bishop had been meeting with his brother Bishops from Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in a regularly scheduled gathering. There was no indication he was suffering from any health problems. Reports indicate that he awakened on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2013 at the rectory where he was staying as a guest. He was feeling quite ill.

Shortly thereafter, he was taken to a hospital and promounced dead at 7:40 AM on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2013. The shock of this loss has shaken the faithful. The Bishop was only 65 years old. He had only served as the ordinary for the Diocese of Harrisburg for three years. However, he was deeply loved by the Lord's people of that little portion of His Church. The outcry from the faithful and the numerous gatherings for prayer, testify to that fact.

Prior to his Episcopal service in Harrisburg, he served as an auxiliary Bishop in Philadelphia. He was consecrated as a Bishop in June of 2004. He was appointed by His Holiness Benedict XVI to give oversight to the faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg on June 22, 2010 and installed in that office on Aug. 18, 2010.

The Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is now being overseen by what is called a College of Consultors. They have eight days to elect an administrator who will provide oversight until a new Bishop is chosen by Pope Francis.

I did not know Bishop Joseph McFadden. However, a very dear friend of mine of several decades, and a Pro-Life Champion, Fr Paul Schenck, serves as a priest of the Harrisburg Diocese. He is assigned to a parish as well as serving as the Director of the Respect Life Office.

Fr. Paul always spoke of the late Bishop as "my Bishop" in our conversations. He did so with such affection, warmth and respect that it inspired me. In fact, the moment I heard the news of this shocking death I called Fr. Paul. His reaction affirmed once again that Bishop Joseph McFadden was a Bishop who knew how to Bishop.

I have served as a deacon of the Catholic Church for seventeen years. In that time I have worked with many priests. In fact, several of my closest friends are priests. The priest's relationship with his Bishop is so crucial. When it is not solid and pastoral, it undermines their well being, causes them great sadness and impedes their effective and fruitful priestly ministry.

I believe that the lack of personal and pastoral care from a Bishop can affect not only priests but deacons, religious in the Diocese and the lay faithful. The Bishop is the Shepherd of the flock; much more than simply an administrator. When the Bishop understands and lives this charism of his office the flock under his care flourishes. The faithful, in every state and vocation, can exercise their vital ministry to God's people in freedom and joy. The Church shines with the joy of the Risen Christ.

It is always encouraging to me to hear a priest speak of his Bishop with respect and affection, like Fr Paul did of Bishop Joseph McFadden. It reminds me of what I believe is the most important character trait among the many vital and important aspects of the calling of a Diocesan Bishop. That is to be a spiritual father to the priests and deacons under his care.

The great Bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine, on the Anniversary of his own Episcopal ordination uttered these words in a sermon:   "I am fearful of what I am for you, but I draw strength from what I am with you. For you I am a bishop, and with you I am a Christian. The former designates an office received, the latter the foundation of salvation."

The body of the late Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden will arrive at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Sunday. There will be a Vespers Service for the faithful at 7 p.m. His body will lay in state at St. Patrick until Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2013.

Then it will be moved to the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. A funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.   Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


Guest Commentary by Ken Blackwell: Houston's Mayor is Endangering Civil Rights

Image of Ken Blackwell

By Ken Blackwell

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ... continue reading


Suspected Indiana serial killer foiled by text messages Watch

Image of Darren Deon Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly even more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Darren Deon Vann told Indiana Police he "messed up" and expressed surprise that he was found so quickly, in the biggest understatement in recent memory. Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly ... continue reading


United States developing quick-strike team to deal with Ebola Watch

Image of The U.S. Ebola strike team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the crisis in Dallas, the United States is developing a 30-person "quick-strike team" in order to attend to the needs of Ebola patients within the U.S. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month. The ... continue reading


After 21 days, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan are Ebola free Watch

Image of Thomas Eric Duncan's family, including his fiancee and her son and nephews, are nearing the end of their 21 day quarantine. So far, none of the four have developed Ebola like symptoms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan-the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States-is nearing the end of a 21 day quarantine, and she and her son and two nephews are grateful that this period is coming to an end. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If ... continue reading


Supreme Court backs Texas' war on voter fraud Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court has backed a 2013 Texas law that requires voters to show ID before they submit a vote.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Texas the go ahead for a law that requires voters in the state to show certain forms of identification before they are able to cast a ballot. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The October 18 decision came from a majority of ... continue reading


Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... 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, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... 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