Peace I leave you.
These words of Jesus are said at every mass immediately before we offer one another the sign of peace. These words also happen to be the episcopal motto of our new archbishop, Blase Cupich. He has come to bring peace and joy to the people of Chicago.
This past week was a flurry of excitement at Holy Name Cathedral and throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, we have a new shepherd, a new bishop who will teach, govern, and sanctify his people. He was welcomed to his new home on Monday night during a celebration called the Rite of Reception. After knocking on the big brass doors of the cathedral with a hammer, the doors were opened and he was greeted by the auxiliary bishops and Monsignor Dan Mayall, Pastor of Holy Name. It was a profound moment, one of extreme reverence that was followed shortly thereafter by rapturous applause. The applause was not only for Archbishop Cupich, but in gratitude for his predecessor, Francis Cardinal George, as they processed down the main aisle of Holy Name.
During his homily that night, Archbishop Cupich stated: “I feel so much at home here that now I in turn welcome you not only to this cathedral, but into my heart.” The heart of the shepherd welcomes us, modeling the Sacred Heart of Christ, beckoning us into his love.
At a later point, the Archbishop mentioned how he was often asked what his vision for the Church was, what his agenda is. He responded: “But, as for my agenda, if I have learned anything over these past four decades as a pastor, I know it is a disaster for me to have my own agenda. That is not because I don’t have dreams and hopes, or that I want to ignore the challenges and trials of life. Rather it is because I have learned that my agenda is always too small; it’s prone to be self-serving, and ultimately unworthy of the people I am called to serve. No, the agenda has to be God’s, which is beyond our imagining and our abilities. And unlike our priorities, God’s agenda has staying power, it endures.”
On Tuesday, November 18, the feast of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, Archbishop Cupich assumed his seat of authority and power. It was a joyous time, a historic time, a time for the local Church to gather with our new spiritual leader. We ask for God’s blessing upon Archbishop Cupich as he leads his flock. May the Lord Bless him and keep him, all the days of his life.
With God’s blessings,
November 23, 2014
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