Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Pope Benedict XVI’s representative to the United States, will install Bishop W. Francis Malooly, western vicar, as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington during a special Sept. 8 Mass at St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington. The liturgy will begin at 2 p.m.
Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop William D. Borders, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop Denis J. Madden and Bishop William C. Newman will participate.
Archbishop O’Brien, presiding as metropolitan archbishop of Baltimore, will begin the Mass with a welcoming statement. The mandate from Pope Benedict XVI appointing Bishop Malooly to his new post will then be presented to and reviewed by the consultors, priests who serve as special advisors to the bishop. Archbishop Sambi will read the mandate and ask Bishop Malooly if he accepts his new assignment. After accepting, Bishop Malooly will be escorted to the cathedra (chair used by the bishop of a diocese) by Archbishop Sambi and Archbishop O’Brien. Bishop Malooly will then be given the staff that symbolizes a bishop’s role as shepherd to the people.
Because of limited space, admission to the Mass is by invitation only.
The ceremony will be broadcast live via streaming audio on www.wdel.com, according to Bob Krebs, communication director of the Wilmington diocese.
The Diocese of Wilmington announced Aug. 21 that all 35 parochial, inter-parochial, private and diocesan Catholic elementary and high schools in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore will be closed on the installation date. Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to use the day to pray for Bishop Malooly and to follow the installation Mass through the Internet and area media.
The Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 58 parishes, 18 missions and 35 schools serving Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are approximately 233,000 Catholics in the diocese and approximately 14,000 students in Catholic schools.
Bishop Malooly succeeds Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli, who in keeping with Canon Law offered his resignation to the pope when he turned 75. Bishop Malooly was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Baltimore on March 1, 2001.