By Jeff Grant, The Catholic Sun
AVONDALE — The Diocese of Phoenix installed Most Rev. John P. Dolan as its fifth bishop Tuesday in a Mass filled with ceremony, joyous and reverent hymns and an address by the new bishop that called upon Catholics as well as people of all faiths to be “good, love and blessed.”
“We are counting that you, venerable brother, are able to exercise this office fittingly, given that you have diligently fulfilled your ministry as auxiliary of San Diego,” said Msgr. Luca Caveada, secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in the United States to the Holy See, reading from the Papal Bull, the edict issued June 10 by Pope Francis naming Bishop Dolan the new bishop, succeeding Thomas J. Olmsted.
“Together with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, principle patroness of your diocese, we earnestly implore for you the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you may be able to guide with the heart of the Father the faithful entrusted to your care to the joys of the Gospel.”
Msgr. Caveada then directed the College of Consultors to examine the Apostolic Mandate, held aloft by Fr. Fred Adamson, the Diocese’s vicar general.
“With the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God in my heart, I do accept the pastoral care of the people of God in the Diocese of Phoenix, and I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this local Church,” Bishop Dolan said, responding to Msgr. Caveada’s question of whether the new bishop would accept the Apostolic Mandate.
Following loud, sustained applause from the congregation, Bishop Dolan, now formally the bishop, sat and was presented the crosier, the hooked staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of pastoral office.
The bishop then addressed his new diocese for the first time.
In a homily that offered a simple message of living as loved children of God, Bishop Dolan urged the congregation to do three simple things:
“Be good, be loved, and be blessed. Let us make an effort to adore the Lord in each other and in the Tabernacle. God fashions us in His image and likeness to be blessed, highly favored. Shed ‘otherness,’ and put on Christ,” he said.
Later, in an interview with The Catholic Sun, Bishop Dolan explained that he wants to listen to his flock and plans to spend time doing so.
“It was a beautiful ceremony,” said Mary Griffith, parishioner of St. Patrick in Scottsdale and member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary. “He spoke to everyone.”
“Bishop Dolan preached a message of love, blessing and grace. It was so special. You could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking through him,” said Stephen J. Zabilski, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and one of dozens of dignitaries attending the Mass along with over 1,000 other congregants — including Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey and several of Dolan’s family — at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Avondale.
“What a wonderful day it is for our diocese.”