For you, the People of God of the Church of Wilmington: Congratulations on the special gift the Lord gives you this day. He transitions from the first diocese in the United States to the first state in the United States. He has spent priestly gifts generously and effectively upon the people of God of his beloved Archdiocese of Baltimore and is anxious to share those gifts with you. You will find in him a bishop who will, instinctively and by the grace of God, put himself completely at your service. Compassionate, a prayerful bishop of unquestioned integrity, with a sharp mind and a specially patented Irish wit, Bishop Francis Malooly is already missed in Baltimore and you will soon see why.
He is the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude that he owes to Bishop Saltarelli and that we all owe to Bishop Saltarelli, do we not? Gratefully, your former shepherd will be of singular help and encouragement to Bishop Fran, as he will continue to serve and inspire the clergy, religious and faithful of this great and historic See of Wilmington.
As earlier this year the University of Delaware reluctantly surrendered quarterback Joe Flacco to a most grateful Baltimore Ravens, so today we in Baltimore reluctantly surrender you to Delaware, Bishop Malooly. Reluctantly but willingly, since it fulfills the wish of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and it is clearly for the benefit of the greater, wider Catholic Church. Happily you will remain our neighbor and friend separated by but seventy-five miles, and ever joined by God’s grace in ecclesial love and unity.