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'


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.

Good Samaritan who fed homeless for 10 years charged with unbelievable $2,000 fine Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Founder of the nonprofit mobile food truck Chow Train, Joan Cheever, was fined by the San Antonio, Texas police for about $2,000 due to the lack of permit for the trucks she is using to transport food. Cheever argues she has the right to do her charitable activity ... continue reading


Tragic final hours of Abraham Lincoln recounted on anniversary of his assassination Watch

Image of Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth's final words were reportedly

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long troubled by depression, 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln awoke on the last day of his life, April 14, 1865 in an uncommonly good mood. Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd decided to attend the hit farce comedy "Our American Cousin," which was playing at ... continue reading


Courage in the Storm: Three Cheers for Wyoming Catholic College! Watch

Image of I do not personally know President Kevin Roberts of Wyoming Catholic. I have never even visited Wyoming Catholic College. However, the action of the President inspires me. The College is now on my radar screen, so to speak. I will be praying for them and paying close attention to their future. I ask my readers to do the same. - Deacon Keith Fournier

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Since the objective of a Catholic University is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic University, as Catholic, must have the following essential ... continue reading


Abercrombie and Fitch employee reveals racial discrimination and sexual harassment at work Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past ten years, Abercrombie and Fitch has received a number of discrimination lawsuits; they even paid $40 million in settlement back in 2006. Just recently, an unnamed employee went out in the open and gave full information about the constant racial ... continue reading


Know someone in the military? They could be in danger from Islamic militants Watch

Image of The Islamic State is threatening U.S. service members and their families, prompting senior military officials to issue guidelines about social media activity, to protect service members.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State's threat of violence towards U.S. service members is being taken very seriously by U.S. military officials, who have issued a warning to troops that instructs them to hide all information about them or their families on public accessible sites, ... continue reading


'One nation under God' defense team claims victory after atheists back down Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marking their fifth victory in a row, the conservative wing in defense of retaining the words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is claiming victory on the newest court trial. This is due to the decision from the ... continue reading


Emotions spike over 'disrespectful' political cartoon depicting 2-year-old murder victim Watch

Image of Kaden Lum was brutally murdered at just 2-years-old.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An editorial cartoon published is viewed as "disrespectful" by the family of 2-year-old Kaden Lum, killed in the still unresolved shooting last March 28. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Kaden's family was left outraged with Kitsap Sun newspaper's political ... continue reading


New Islamic State video vows another 9/11 and to 'burn America' Watch

Image of Entitled

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The evil media machine of Islamic State remains ever ready. The Middle Eastern terror group latest video declares there is "no safety for any American on the globe" and claims that the U.S. will burn in another 9/11-style attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Divine Mercy Sunday, Doubting Thomas and the Jubilee Year of Mercy Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Thank God for 'Doubting Thomas'. His doubts healed the wounds of our own disbelief. They also open up, for all who look with the eyes of faith, a deeper understanding of the redemptive effect of the wounds of Jesus - and the role our own wounds can have in our ... continue reading


Repentance Walks but Mercy Runs: Pope of Mercy Invokes a Year of Mercy Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On Saturday 11 April, on the eve of what is celebrated as Mercy Sunday in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will officially convoke an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. He will release what is called a Bull of Indiction. Such a Papal Bull is a ... 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 6:1-7
1 About this time, when the number of disciples was ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
16 That evening the disciples went down to the shore ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2015 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... 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