Archbishop Lori becomes 16th Archbishop of Baltimore


By George P. Matysek Jr.

Twitter: @Reviewmatysek

In a jubilant liturgy that highlighted the historic roots of the Baltimore archdiocese while also looking to the future, Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th archbishop of Baltimore May 16 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland.
A smiling Archbishop Lori wore the same pectoral cross that belonged to Archbishop John Carroll – the first archbishop of Baltimore – as he was led to the bishop’s chair by Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
There, in front of more than 2,000 people, Archbishop Lori grasped his crosier and began a new era in the 223-year history of the Baltimore archdiocese as he symbolically took possession of his cathedral.
Archbishop Vigano, representing Pope Benedict XVI, extended papal greetings and read an English translation of the apostolic mandate naming the former bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., to his Baltimore post.
“We express our confidence that through your faithful ministry of teaching, governing and sanctifying, you will win hearts to Jesus Christ and shape minds in the knowledge, understanding and love of his church,” Archbishop Vigano said, “proposing the Christian vision of life in all its breadth and integrity to the lasting spiritual betterment not only of your flock, but of American society at large.”
In his homily, Archbishop Lori emphasized the importance of defending religious liberty – highlighting the contributions of men like Archbishop Carroll and another predecessor, Cardinal James Gibbons.
“We do not seek to defend religious liberty for partisan purposes,” he said, “as some have suggested. No. We do this because we are lovers of a human dignity that was fashioned and imparted not by the government, but by the creator.”
Archbishop Lori challenged the congregation to be loyal Americans “by being bold and courageous Catholics.”
“Let us never imagine that the faith we profess with such personal conviction is merely a private matter,” he said. “By its nature, the profession of faith is a public matter – for the faith is meant to be spread far and wide and acted upon in and through church institutions and in the witness of individual believers.”
Archbishop Lori, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, encouraged Catholics to resist shrinking from entering the public square, where ideals such as promoting the sanctity of human life, serving those in need and defending the institution of marriage as between a man and a woman must be held high.
More than 300 priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals from around the country attended the Mass. Cardinal O’Brien was joined by the 14th archbishop of Baltimore, Cardinal William H. Keeler.
Other cardinals in attendance were New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan, retired Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and retired former head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, Cardinal Francis Stafford – a former auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.
At the start of the liturgy, Monsignor Bruce Jarboe, rector of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, greeted Archbishop Lori at the front of the cathedral. Monsignor Jarboe gave the new archbishop a crucifix, which Archbishop Lori kissed.
Following a procession of students from Catholic schools carrying banners representing each of the 70 Catholic schools of the archdiocese, and then a long line of clergy, the archbishop processed down the main aisle of the cathedral – eliciting applause from well-wishers.
Numerous members of the Knights of Columbus, wearing brightly colored capes and chapeaux, participated in the ceremony – a special tribute to Archbishop Lori, supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.
In welcoming Archbishop Lori to Baltimore, Cardinal O’Brien said his successor would find support from his flock.
“A new and grace-filled chapter begins today for America’s most historic archdiocese,” Cardinal O’Brien said, “and for that we offer thanks – eucharistic thanks – to God.”
Reflecting the growing cultural diversity of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, prayers were offered in English, Arabic, Igbo, Spanish, Tagalog, French, Korean and American Sign Language. Some the liturgical readings were proclaimed in Spanish and Archbishop Lori delivered part of his homily in Spanish.
Spanish was also heard outside the cathedral, where representatives of the Neocatechumenal Way strummed guitars, rattled tambourines and sang prior to the start of the liturgy as a long line of clergy assembled. Archbishop Lori acknowledged the enthusiastic musicians with a two-handed wave as he passed by.
During the concluding moments of the Rite of Installation, representatives of various archdiocesan ministries joined representatives of the ecumenical, interfaith and civic communities in personally greeting the new archbishop.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake was among them, as were Bishop Douglas Miles of the Baptist Church, Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim community and Dr. Arthur Abramson of the Jewish community.
Monsignor Steven Rohlfs, rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and a former seminarian with Archbishop Lori at Mount St. Mary’s, was among those representing Catholic higher education who greeted the archbishop during the ceremony.
As joyous bells pealed outside the cathedral at the end of the celebration, many of those who attended said they were inspired by the archbishop’s homily.
“I think he touched on points that are really important to us in terms of religious liberty,” said Dr. Marie-Alberte Boursiquot, president of the Baltimore Guild Catholic Medical Association. “I think he’s empowered us to live out our faith openly in the face of all the challenges against our faith.”
Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, said Archbishop Lori’s homily “clearly moved the congregation,” showing how one can be “authentically American and authentically Catholic.”
Margaret Brogden, coordinator of youth ministry formation, said the archbishop made a good impression.
“He loves the church,” she said. “He loves what the church stands for, and that came out very, very plainly. That was very clear. I liked what he said, that we’re to be good Americans, and we’re supposed to be strong Catholics. That’s important for youth to know.”
Tom Kurowski, a parishioner of the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier in Hunt Valley, admired the archbishop’s sense of humor. At the close of his homily, Archbishop Lori quoted from the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus told his followers, “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now.”
“Looking out at you right about now,” the archbishop said, “I’d say that just about sums our situation.”
Kurowski said a moment such as that shows the archbishop’s warmth.
“He looks like a wonderful person and a wonderful leader,” Kurowski said. “He’s got big shoes to fill, but he’ll be able to do that.”

Maria Wiering and Elizabeth Skalski contributed to this story. 

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 Copyright (c) May 16, 2012

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