Bishop-Elect Gregory John Hartmayer, OFM,Con. set forth some of his vision for ministry as our chief shepherd. The following is a brief synopsis. I hope I remember it correctly:
1. He will make good use of the Presbyteral Council as a broad representation of the clergy in the diocese, age, year of ordination, religious, secular.
2. He will look into expanding the college of consulters from six to twelve and using them as canon law envisions.
3. For the Sacrament of Confirmation, he wants to be informed of the particulars of the liturgy, any important issues amongst those being confirmed. He wants the boys to wear dress shirt, tie and dress pants and shoes. The girls are to wear modest dress-dresses. Since I've been pastor, I've required our boys to wear dark dress pants and shoes, white dress shirt and red tie (no coat). The girls must wear a modest white or off white dress.
4. Sponsors must be registered and practicing Catholics in good standing with the Church as it regards thier marriage. They must provide documentation for such.
5. We as priests and parishes should make sure we're up to snuff as it concerns the new media, i.e web pages, email, cell phones, etc.
6. He sees his first priority as bishop to his priests making sure we have what we need to do our ministry in the parish. He will be concerned for our spiritual, mental and physical health. He gave us direct access to his cell phone number and asked for ours.
7. He is very magnanamous to our retiring bishops using him when he can't be somewhere and allowing pastors to call upon him for confirmations or other parish events.
8. He likes Diet Coke instead of the more potent drinks like red bull.
9. I asked him about is vision for Catholic Stewardship in the Diocese and he has a very good grasp of it as a "way of life" and a potent form of Catholic Spirituality. It is discipleship pure and simple, touching on time spent in prayer, talents used for the building up of the parish and diocese and treasure for the support of both as well as other charities.
10. He would like each priest to promote vocations by inviting young men/boys to consider the priesthood. A happy priest is the best billboard for this.
11. He wants every priest to implement the corrected English translation completely by the First Sunday of Advent. The priests should not editorialize in a negative way about this as time for debating it is over and it must be implemented. He urged priests to begin singing the new Gloria and Sanctus at Mass. There's only 10 more Sundays to go.
A transition of bishops is always an anxious and exciting time. I think our new bishop has set the tone and has a vision for his ministry. May God bless him as he becomes our new shepherd.
I was able to introduce myself to him (I'm not accustomed to being an "unknown" to my bishop) by saying I was the "rector" of the other "cathedral" in the diocese located in Macon!
I'm in Panama City Beach as I overlook the magnificent Gulf of Mexico and sunny, cool morning and the water is emerald green and the sand sugar white! So nice. I'm using Fr. Pat Foley's putrid computer to write this which is slow and like a dinasour. It is almost impossible to make you jealous by posting pictures of what I'm looking at (Gulf) from the 14th floor (actually 13th floor but they won't number it that way, YIKES) of the hotel I'm in. This computer is so slow and outdated, an embarassment to me for even using it! So I'm not sure what else I'll blog until I get back to my PC in my office.