Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's official: Charleston is now vacant

[Well, technically, I think, the vacancy occurs when the Bishop is installed in his new diocese.] The Bishop of my home diocese is moving a little to the west, but still very much in the South.


Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha nominato Vescovo di Birmingham (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Robert Joseph Baker, finora Vescovo di Charleston.

S.E. Mons. Robert Joseph Baker
S.E. Mons. Robert J. Baker è nato a Willard nella diocesi di Toledo (Ohio) il 4 giugno 1944. Ha frequentato la scuola primaria della parrocchia di Saint Gwendaline nel suo paese natale. Successivamente è passato alla Josephinum High School a Columbus (Ohio), poi è entrato nel Pontifical College Josephinum sempre a Columbus. In seguito, ha conseguito la licenza in teologia presso l'Università Cattolica di America a Washington, ed è stato inviato a Roma, dove si è laureato in teologia presso la Pontificia Università Gregoriana (1972-1975).
È stato ordinato sacerdote il 21 marzo 1970, incardinandosi nella diocesi di Saint Augustine (Florida). Ha poi ricoperto i seguenti incarichi: Viceparroco della Saint Paul Parish e professore presso la Bishop Kenny High School a Jacksonville Beach, nonché Direttore diocesano dei corsi di preparazione al matrimonio (1970-1972); Direttore Spirituale del Pontifical College Josephinum (1975-1976); Amministratore di Sant'Agostino a Gainesville, parrocchia frequentata soprattutto dagli studenti della University of Florida (1976-1981); Professore di teologia presso il Seminario Regionale Saint Vincent de Paul a Boynton Beach (1981-1984); Rettore della Cattedrale di Saint Augustine (1984-1997); Parroco della Christ the King Parish, la più grande parrocchia della diocesi (1997 - 1999).
Nominato Vescovo di Charleston il 13 luglio 1999, è stato ordinato il 29 settembre successivo.
Rocco has a lengthy post, with a recap of Bishop Baker's career, along with the full-text of his statements to the Church in Charleston as well as the Church in Birmingham. [And I think it deserves saying yet another time, Rocco rocks!!]

I actually served Bishop Baker's ordination, September 29, 1999. I was the only non-seminarian to do so (tahnks to the fact that my pastor was one of the MCs). It was a beautiful and powerful service, with thousands packing the North Charleston convention center. I've met him on numerous occasions, have lunched with him a couple of times, and served as a campus minister in his Diocese for nearly five years. He's a very personable, people-oriented guy, and his going out to the Salty Nut (a local college watering hole) after Confirmation Mass was high on the cool factor with the students.

It's eminently fitting that one of his last public acts was the ordination last month of the largest class in the Diocese since 1953. [Rocco says 1956. I am pretty sure the program at the ordination says 1953. However, since I'm about 9000 miles away from said program, could someone confirm?]

I wish him well as he labors in another corner of the Vineyard.

And folks, start the prayers now that we get a new Shepherd soon. Birmingham was vacant for 27 months. Sioux City SD for 22. Little Rock has been vacant since May 2006. So, pray. But don't hold your breath.

[It'll be interesting to see who the College of Consultors chooses as the Diocesan Administrator/Vicar Capitular)].

[More about Bishop Baker from Amy and Michael Dubruiel, who's an old friend of the Bish.]


Anonymous said...

The Charleston newspaper article said 1956 also. I don't have the program with me.

Mrs. Dell

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

From the insert page of the Ordination Program (handily in my car):

Six Ordinandi The last time the Diocese of Charleston ordained six men to the priesthood was in 1953 by Bishop John J. Russell.

Maybe there was a larger class in 1956? Maybe 1953 only applies to the number 6?

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Another FYI: Whilst driving this afternoon, I heard Bishop Baker's move mentioned on the 2 PM news break on our main local news talk station. I don't know that I've ever heard Catholic or other religious news there before.

Re-thought before posting - I think they may have carried the story about the not-so-much elected Episcopal Bishop of SC a few months back. Still, it's a pretty rare occurrence.

Anonymous said...

Dear. I was very happy to see that Six priests were ordained. I too was inspired by the news which I have read now. Is is possible that I too can join your diocese and serve the Lord Sincerly. I have finished my theology in Rome and philosophy in India. I belong to the Order of Friar Servants of Mary. Due to some misunderstandin with my superior in India, I want to join the diocese. I humbly request you to accept me in your diocese. I will be faithful to my vocation. Please pray for me, so that may the Lord show me the way to walk and fulfil His will. Thank you.

Your humble brother
David Xavier
Ph: 0091 9941847623
Thank you