‘Celebrating 20 years A Bishop’ by Bishop DiMarzio

November 9, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet.

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

First, I thank you for your presence today as I celebrate 20 years of Episcopal ministry. As I reflect back on these past 20 years, it was certainly a surprise to be asked to accept the episcopacy. When the nuncio of that time, now Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, called me and began speaking in Italian and said, “Chiedere niente e rifiutare niente,” which I later realized were the words of Saint Frances deSales, “Ask for nothing and refuse nothing.” Truly, the then-Archbishop Cacciavillan meant that he wanted me to answer yes. Well, I did answer yes, not knowing what lay before me.

Our second reading today was the reading I used in 1970 at my first Mass as a priest. Jesus was a high priest taken from among men. In fact, I had my sister, Donna, who was in high school at that time, make a banner where those words were displayed, “A Man Among Men.”

A priest is taken from among men to serve as their representative before God. Truly, the episcopacy accents this work of a priest. One always remains a priest. The work of the episcopacy is always the work of the priesthood. Sometimes the isolation of the episcopacy can be a burden in itself. The separation from family, friends and priest friends is sometimes difficult, especially if one is serving in a diocese other than one’s home diocese.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.