A View From the Next to the Last Pew – The Installation of Bishop Libasci

We have a new bishop! 

I lucked out and was given a ticket to go to the Installation Mass of Bishop Peter Libasci in Manchester.  The excitement and energy in the Cathedral was palpable. Some of us had been to the vespers the night before and so had gotten a bit of a preview of the man who is now our 10th Bishop.  Some of the words that I kept hearing were: Real, Humble, Prayerful, FUNNY, Down-to-Earth, Passionate.   He showed us a sense of his humor in the homily at Vespers – recounting the tale of his ordination.  But I digress: the Installation Mass was AWESOME.   For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is available online at CatholicTV .  I highly recommend you watch the whole thing, but if you don’t have the time, definitely watch the following:

The Reading of the Papal Bull (Letter) by the Papal Nuncio that appointing Bishop Libasci to be the new Bishop of Manchester starts at about 15:45 which is immediately followed by Bishop Libasci taking the Cathedra (the Bishop’s Chair).

The Bishop takes his seat on the Cathedra (the bishop’s chair) starts at about 25:00 into the video.  The video cannot give you the sense of excitement and love that was poured out in the applause that followed.  It was as if all the pent of excitement and joy that people had been holding in poured out all at once during the applause.

The Homily starts at about 50:30 into the video and is probably the best Homily on the Immaculate Conception I have ever heard.  I loved it when he went off the prepared text and talked a little about himself as Bill and Flo’s kid (around 59:50) … at that the camera pans around and you can see the love and joy on the faces of all those present in the congregation.  There is such hope and love in this new beginning.  I was struck by the conclusion of the homily bacause it addressed the young people of our diocese:

This new Bishop who comes to you now asks you to allow the stirrings of God’s Grace to breathe new life into us all – together so that this Faith that has been the source of hope and love in this diocese for so many generations – cherished by those who built these communities of faith – can be entrusted whole and entire to a new young generation eager to engage in that Divine companionship that enabled Mary to say “Yes” to God and to sing that ancient hymn of joy: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

I believe this new bishop will also inspire many young people to consider their vocation, whether a call to married life, the priesthood and religious life.  I believe in this joyfilled, humble shepherd, many will see the beauty of a life lived completely for God.  The joy is contagious!

A couple of videos:

Entrance Procession of Bishop Libasci Installation Mass – Yes, it is long, but I liked the music and didn’t want to chop it up. And it is great to see so many bishops, priests and deacons   Oh, yes, the first 30sec is upside down … Apple makes right handed products…

Recessional from the Installation Mass of Bishop Peter Libasci

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