Friday, April 24, 2009

April 25--St. Mark's Day; Mass for Neophytes & My 14th Anniversary of Episcopal Ordination

Since the time of my graduate studies in which I devoted several years to writing a dissertation on the Disciples in Mark's Gospel ("Without Understanding" [Mark 7:18]--A Redaction-Critical Study of the References to the Disciples' Lack of Understanding in Mark's Gospel, 1977), I have had a great predilection for St. Mark.

So the choice of date for my ordination as a bishop (generally on the feast of an apostle or other solemn occasion) in April 1995 was simple--it would be the feast of the Evangelist St. Mark on the 25th! So today is my 14th anniversary and we had a modest celebration of this at a 10am Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, which was also the Mass of the Neophytes, those initiated into the Body of Christ at the Easter Vigil along with their relatives, friends and fellow parishioners, particulary those who were involved in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation).

After Mass, I invited all who wished to join me on a tour of the the sanctuary (with its gorgeous statuary and carvings and then into the sacristy, where the archdiocesan treasures had been exposed for viewing (chalices, patens, ciboria, monstrances, reliquaries, vestments and precious mitres, birettas, croziers, processional crosses and even episcopal shoes. I gave a brief running commentary in French and English, explaining the ecclesiastical paraphernalia and answering questions. It was a delightful half-hour that ended with photos of those who had come--especially some in their white robes--and then to the parish hall for refreshments. [You can take a virtual tour of our cathedral at]

This evening, there was another celebration of Confirmations at Paroisse Sainte-Marie in Orleans (with 55 candidates), followed by conversation and supper prepared by the pastor himself (an excellent cook), abbe Michel Pommainville in the parish house.

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