A time of great joy and great sorrow
It was a day of great joy for the people of our diocese when it was announced that then-Monsignor Jerry Vincke had been named by Pope Francis as the new bishop of Salina, Kan. At the time, he was pastor of Holy Family Parish in Grand Blanc. Now, he is Bishop Vincke following his episcopal ordination and installation in Salina’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Aug. 22. Although I was unable to be at Bishop Vincke’s ordination, I was able to watch the ordination Mass as it was live-streamed. It was a beautiful celebration, and the Mass reflected Bishop Vincke’s deep faith and the joy of the people of Salina as they welcomed a new shepherd in their new bishop.
At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Vincke offered words of thanks and appreciation. With his customary humble demeanor, Bishop Vincke first gave thanks to God, who is rich in mercy and full of compassion. These also are the words of his episcopal motto, and are drawn from the numerous references to the Lord’s mercy that are found in Scripture. Beautiful words summed up a day of celebration and joy.
Then there have been days of great sadness, anger, frustration and bewilderment for all of us. The last month has seen the unfolding of a new chapter in the sexual abuse crisis in the Church in the United States. All of us have been affected by these stories that have come from a variety of places. They point to the work that still must be done in order to create greater levels of accountability in those charged with the responsibility of leadership in the Church, all in an effort to make sure that people young and old, male and female, are treated with the dignity, respect and safety that are the right of all those created by God.
In these days that have brought together such a mix of emotions, I think we all must keep in mind the power of Christ’s Paschal Mystery – namely, that the death of Christ on the cross for us and for our sins also led to something new and beautiful – the new life of the resurrection. Through these events, we, as a Church, have been experiencing the Paschal Mystery. We must trust that somehow, in ways we cannot fully understand, even in a time of great sorrow and anger, God is working to bring forth a renewed Church. Let us continue to pray for all those affected by these scandals and for the ongoing work to bring healing and renewed life to the Church.
And so, our journey in FAITH continues.