|New Since the Print Edition:
-- Posted: 8/02/2003, 7:12 p.m. Central Time
Bishop Robert C. Morlino installed
as fourth bishop of Madison
MADISON -- In a celebration rich with church tradition, Bishop Robert C. Morlino took "canonical possession" of the Diocese of Madison at a Celebration of the Eucharist at St. Raphael Cathedral on Friday, Aug. 1.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee, metropolitan archbishop, presided at the beginning of the Mass. His presence - along with that of 40 other visiting bishops - was a sign of unity with the greater church.
Archbishop Dolan was presented with the Apostolic Letter from the Holy Father transferring Bishop Morlino from the Diocese of Helena, Mont., and naming him the fourth bishop of Madison. Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, papal nuncio, read the letter and escorted Bishop Morlino to the cathedra, the bishop's chair.
Representatives from groups in the Diocese of Madison came forward to greet Bishop Morlino.
In his homily, Bishop Morlino focused on the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He called that image "one of the richest in the Gospel."
As the shepherd feeds his sheep, the food the church offers is Christ himself in the Eucharist. "To enter into that full communion, we have to listen to the word of truth and respond with a profession of faith that we are ready to be nourished by his body and blood."
Although we hear about "spiritual hunger" today, Bishop Morlino cautioned that sometimes people in the world and in the church don't really believe. For some people, conscience determines the truth for each individual. Bishop Morlino quoted St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast was celebrated Aug. 1, in saying that "conscience is not a creator of truth. It discovers the objective truth of Christ."
As good shepherds, we must "invite them lovingly to hunger for the objective truth in Christ so their hunger is genuine and profound."
So what is our mission? With his interest in both spiritual and physical food, Bishop Morlino concluded his homily with an acronym: BLT, or "Badger them lovingly with the truth."
Bishop Morlino gave "warm and heartfelt thanks" to retiring Bishop William H. Bullock, who received a standing ovation, and noted that Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz "isn't going anywhere yet."
Bishop Morlino gave special thanks to priests. "A bishop without priests is like a man without arms," he said. "I hope I can be pastor, father, and brother. I hope we embrace each other with love and collaborate so the BLT mission can be accomplished."
He thanked the installation committee headed by Monsignor Paul J. Swain, including Msgr. Michael Hippee, Bill Brophy, Gregory Keller, and Kate Wiskus and thanked Dr. Patrick Gorman and the Diocesan Choir and musicians.
After expressing appreciation to the diocesan staff and people of Helena, Bishop Morlino announced that Msgr. Kevin S. O'Neill, rector of the Cathedral of St. Helena, had been elected diocesan administrator of Helena.
And to the people of the Diocese of Madison, Bishop Morlino urged, "Let's go forth together as sisters and brothers as ambassadors for mercy. God bless you and love you all."
A reception and dinner at the Concourse Hotel concluded the day's festivities.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino, left, is greeted with applause after being introduced by his predecessor Bishop Emeritus William H. Bullock, right, to those attending the Solemn Vespers Service at St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison on Thursday evening, July 31. (Catholic Herald photo by Pam Payne)
Vespers: Bishop Morlino received at cathedral
MADISON -- In a Solemn Vespers service rich in symbolism July 31, Bishop Robert C. Morlino was received into St. Raphael Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Madison.
The service began when Bishop Morlino knocked on the cathedral doors with a gavel. Accompanied by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee, Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz, and Cathedral Rector Msgr. Paul J. Swain, Bishop William H. Bullock opened the doors and greeted Bishop Morlino with "Peace be with you," the traditional greeting of bishops.
Bishop Bullock presented Bishop Morlino with the cathedral's crucifix, a vessel of holy water, and the cathedral's Paschal candle.
"Rejoice and be glad for you're a witness to Christ's sufferings. Thank you for helping us carry our cross," Archbishop Dolan said to Bishop Morlino in his homily.
Bishop Morlino addressed the congregation at the end of the vespers service. "From the heart, thank you for your prayerful participation, for praying with me and for me - there is nothing more I need," he said.
Touching others' lives:
Bishop Morlino leaves mark in hearts of many
-- Posted: 8/05/2003, 7:23 p.m. Central Time
MADISON -- From Pennsylvania to Michigan to Montana, Bishop Robert C. Morlino has touched the lives of many.
This was evidenced by the comments from family, friends, and colleagues from across the country who gathered for Bishop Morlino's installation as fourth bishop of the Diocese of Madison.
Whether they had known him since he was young or met him in later years of his ministry, people used similar words to describe Bishop Morlino: humble, kind, intelligent. He had indeed left his mark on their hearts.
'A blessing to all'
"He came from a caring, loving family," said Marie Winstanley,
a distant cousin from Glenside, Pa., who knew Bishop Morlino as a youngster. "He was quiet, never got into trouble, and he was always a student."
Winstanley, who had attended Bishop Morlino's first Mass, said, "I am happy to be here and felt very honored to be invited."
Chris DiMattio of Scranton, Pa., first met Bishop Morlino when DiMattio was an altar boy. They remained friends through the years and Bishop Morlino officiated at DiMattio's marriage to his wife, Ann, last September.
"You're lucky to have him," said DiMattio. "He's a genuine person - humble, wise, very intelligent. He speaks from the heart and is dedicated to the church and the Holy Father."
He lives the way life should be lived, he added.
"He's a wonderful man," said Ann DiMattio of Bishop Morlino. She
noted that his homilies are very motivating and inspiring. "His words are so down to earth and make you think. He just touches your life in a special way and it changes you for good. You're all so blessed. He's a blessing to us all."
'Solid in faith'
Msgr. Stanley Piorkowski of Dunmore, Pa., has known Bishop Morlino since 1975. "He's a kind, understanding, appreciative person," he said. "No matter who you might be, he'll always greet you and show kindness and concern. He's very solid in the faith and he holds to all teachings of the church and demands it of others."
Mike Carlucci of Dunmore, Pa., has known Bishop Morlino all his life. "His grandmother and my mother were buddies," he said. "His whole life was education. He's brilliant and humble."
Ed Carey, chancellor of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., also noted Bishop Morlino's intelligence as well as his humor. "I've known him a long time," he said, noting that they had been students together at Notre Dame in 1976 and 1977. "He's a great guy. People will take to him immediately."
"He has a deep spirituality," said Colleen Carey, the chancellor's wife. "And he's a darn good cook."
The chancellor said Bishop Morlino is a good teacher and homilist and he loves priests. "He's caring, concerned, and hospitable," he said. "I think you guys are going to love him."
"And we're happy he moved closer," Colleen added.
Fellow bishops' comments
Bishop Paul Donovan of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich., said he admires Bishop Morlino very much. Bishop Morlino served as Bishop Donovan's executive assistant.
"He's brilliant," said Bishop Donovan. "He's a people person, meeting the needs especially of those of college age because he taught at three colleges. He was a capable administrator of the cathedral in Kalamazoo. I can't say enough good things about him."
Bishop Morlino was welcomed warmly welcomed by his fellow bishops in Wisconsin, including Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee and Bishop Raymond L. Burke of LaCrosse, both of whom have been Bishop Morlino's friends for quite a few years.
Archbishop Dolan became acquainted with Bishop Morlino when Archbishop Dolan was head of the North American College in Rome, which educates American seminarians. Bishop Morlino had influenced a number of men to become priests through his teaching in colleges and seminaries.
"I admired his work in vocations," said Archbishop Dolan, who noted that Bishop Morlino corresponded with and called seminarians studying in Rome.
"I got to appreciate his theological depth," said Archbishop Dolan. "I enjoyed his company. We enjoy a good meal. I was delighted to hear of his appointment to Madison. He is a very competent, zealous bishop, and a personal friend. I'll miss Bishop Bullock."
Archbishop Dolan believes that Bishop Morlino's background in bioethics will be very helpful in dealing with such issues as stem cell research as well as pro-life and family issues.
Bishop Burke became acquainted with Bishop Morlino through Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and through the U.S. Bishops Conference.
"He's a very respected bishop, especially known for his preparation in moral theology," he said. "He's especially well prepared with issues such as stem cell research and in vitro fertilization. He'll be able to dialogue with people promoting these biotech procedures.
"I'm very pleased to have him as a brother bishop in the province. He's a wonderful gift to Madison," said Bishop Burke.