Rejoice And Give Thanks For Glorious Day!
What a glorious day this is for our diocese!
Friends, please join me, above all, in thanking God for sending Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel to serve as the Sixth Bishop of Evansville. Please also join me in thanking Father Bernie Etienne for his wonderful leadership as Diocesan Administrator over these past four-plus months.
Bishop Siegel will celebrate his first Sunday Mass as our new shepherd on Dec. 17 at St. Benedict Cathedral. I smiled when I looked at the readings for that day and saw the Responsorial Psalm.
It is the Magnificat.
Luke’s Gospel tells us that Mary responded to Elizabeth’s joyous proclamation at the Visitation by beginning, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Among other things in the verses that are known as the Magnificat, Mary also says, “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name.”
If you think about it, that’s only right – because Dec. 17 is the Third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete Sunday.
In Latin, Gaudete means rejoice.
On this day – Dec. 15 – the Mighty One is doing great things for tens of thousands of Catholics in Southwest Indiana by providing a holy man to serve as the sixth bishop of this diocese.
You might be wondering … how can I be so sure that our new bishop is a holy man? I am certain as a result of the unsolicited comments I have received from so many who know him – and have known him for many years.
“You are going to love him,” some have said.
“We are really going to miss him,” said others.
“Joliet’s loss is certainly Evansville’s gain,” offered still more people who know Bishop Siegel.
Friends, our diocese has gained so much since 1944 from the leadership of our first five bishops, two diocesan administrators and now, Bishop Siegel.
From here, it is impossible not to invoke Gaudete and rejoice a couple days early because the Mighty One truly has done great things for us … and holy is His name.
May our patroness – Mary, the mother of God – pray for all of us as we welcome Bishop Siegel and get to work with him – moving our Catholic community through God’s plan for us in 2018 and beyond.
May our souls proclaim the greatness of the Lord … our spirits rejoice in God our Savior.