Bishop Donald J. Hying installed as fifth Bishop of Madison Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
bishop hying smiling
Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison smiles during his Installation Mass at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison on June 25. Seated behind him are the diocesan College of Consultors, including Msgr. James Bartylla, far right, former diocesan administrator. To view or purchase photos, go to (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- "The Church is forever young," said Bishop Donald J. Hying.

"In God's time, 2,000 years is merely the blink of an eye. So, the Church is always just an hour after dawn, the sun has just come up, Christ has risen from the dead, and Mary Magdalene is running down the path to tell the Apostles that the tomb is empty. This is our moment to boldly proclaim Christ, to live the faith, and to move forward the mission of the Church with joyful confidence in the Holy Spirit."

Bishop Hying spoke those words during his homily at his Installation Mass as the fifth Bishop of Madison on June 25 at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison. More than 1,500 people attended the Mass.

Overflow seating was set up in the narthex and parish hall where Massgoers watched the installation on televisions.

Installation of bishop

The Knights of Columbus led a large procession into the church. Included in the procession were Mass servers -- including diocesan seminarians -- Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Knights of Malta, deacons from the Diocese of Madison and surrounding areas, concelebrating priests from the Diocese of Madison and surrounding areas, concelebrating bishops and archbishops -- including Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, the metropolitan archbishop; Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, cardinal archbishop of Chicago; and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Toward the start of the Mass, Archbishop Pierre said, "I am truly pleased to be with you here in this church of St. Maria Goretti for the solemn installation of the fifth Bishop of Madison, His Excellency Donald Joseph Hying," and jokingly asked if his pronunciation of Hying, sounding like "HI-ing" was correct. The bishop responded in the affirmative.

Archbishop Pierre continued, "I am grateful for your service to the Church of Gary [Indiana], which you have shepherded so wisely [as bishop]. While you will be sorely missed there, the Holy Father has called you to lead the Church of Madison, whose shepherd was taken suddenly."

Bishop Robert C. Morlino, the fourth Bishop of Madison, died last November.

More than 1,500 people attended the Installation Mass of Bishop Donald J. Hying at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison on June 25. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

"Your Excellency, you are being installed during the month of June. The month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which the Holy Father has said is the highest expression of divine love, the ultimate symbol of God's mercy," said Archbishop Pierre.

"Your own episcopal motto 'Caritas numquam excidit,' 'Love never fails' points to the infinite love of God that flows from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The heart to which you must be conformed more and more each day."

Archbishop Pierre then read the Apostolic Letter of Appointment from Pope Francis, appointing Bishop Hying to Madison.

The letter was then given to Bishop Hying, who showed it to the diocesan College of Consultors, a group of priests who generally advise the bishop and select a diocesan administrator in the absence of a bishop. Msgr. James Bartylla, member of the college, had been serving as the diocesan administrator. Monsignor Bartylla was also named vicar general for Bishop Hying, a role he served under Bishop Morlino.

Bishop Hying then showed the letter to the other priests in attendance and walked up and down the aisles in the church, showing the letter to all in attendance.

Bishop Hying was then escorted to the cathedra, or chair, where he received the miter and crozier from Archbishops Listecki and Pierre. Upon sitting on the chair, Bishop Hying fully assumed his role as Bishop of Madison.

Bishop Hying was then greeted by members of the faithful including diocesan clergy and lay faithful who represented various parts of the diocese.

Among these were diocesan clergy Msgr. Daniel Ganshert, pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Clinton, and Fr. Grant Thies, parochial vicar of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish in Sun Prairie. Also among the clergy was Deacon Dick Martin from St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, along with his wife Suzanne.

Bishop Donald J. Hying shows the Apostolic Letter of Appointment from Pope Francis, announcing his designation as the fifth bishop of Madison, during his Installation Mass at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison on June 25. (Catholic Herald photo/Brian Payne)
installation greeting
Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison Is greeted by Ed Emmenegger, president of the diocesan council of Madison, St. Vincent de Paul, center, and Andy Russell, director of the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison during the Installation Mass. (Catholic Herald photo/Brian Payne)

Parish staff members and youth from the diocese also came up to greet the bishop.

Numerous people represented Works of Mercy.

Some of them were for feeding the hungry, Andy Russell director of the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison; burying the dead, Damian Lenshek, director of Catholic Cemeteries for the Diocese of Madison; and clothing the naked, Ed Emmengger, president of the Diocesan Council of Madison, Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Bishop Hying is the national episcopal advisor of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Following those greetings, Mass continued with Bishop Hying as the main celebrant.

First homily as bishop

During his homily, Bishop Hying focused on the Gospel reading from John.

"'Simon, Son of John, do you love me?' . . . this simple, yet profound question, posed to Peter by Jesus at the end of the Gospel, echoes down the centuries into our own hearts, today," Bishop Hying said.

"Is it not, in some sense, the most fundamental question of life? We all want to know that we are loved and valued, both by God and others. We seek some external assurance that we have been received, accepted, and embraced. That our existence matters. That we are not alone."

Bishop Hying added, "Do we not feel that question in our own hearts? The urgency of Jesus' request to answer. I certainly feel it and I know that you do too. We can respond, yes Lord, you know that I love you, because Jesus Christ has first loved us."

Later in his homily, Bishop Hying addressed many of the different groups represented at the Mass.

To the priests in attendance, he said. "Thank you for your priesthood and for your profound commitment to Christ and to his Church . . . I look greatly forward to serving with you for many years to come as collaborators in this great work, as this band of disciples of the Lord who are privileged to serve God's people. You will always have my heart and you will always have my cell number."

He then asked everyone to give the priests a round of applause.

He addressed the seminarians in attendance and said, "I'm so impressed with them."

To the laity in the diocese, he said, "I offer my greetings and my love to you. You serve the Church in so many generous ways, your prayer, your marriages and families, the work you do, the time and treasure you give are the fire and energy that make the Church run forward in the sacred mission of Christ . . .

"To all of you, I pledge my heart and my prayers. How I wish I could sit down in the kitchen of every home, get to know all of you, drink a big cup of coffee, and have a great chat. That will happen, I hope, one person and one place at a time."

He also addressed the Hispanic community, speaking to them in Spanish.

A 'beautiful memory'

At the end of the Mass, Bishop Hying had words of thanks for many people.

He thanked his fellow bishops, including Archbishop Pierre, Cardinal Cupich, as well as those in attendance from the other dioceses in Wisconsin.

He also thanked his family and friends in attendance, noting his father grew up in the Diocese of Madison, and he has many relatives in the area.

"Whether you pronounce it 'HI-ing' or 'Hing,' I love you," Bishop Hying said.

He pointed out his brother Will, with his wife Patricia, live on a farm in Jefferson County.

"It's an awesome thing to be spiritually responsible for your brother," the bishop said.

Bishop Hying closed by saying he was "deeply honored that each one of you are here today."

"Today will always be in my heart as this beautiful memory. When there are challenges and difficulties -- not that there will be many here -- but when there's challenges and difficulties, you pull out moments like this from your heart, these are signposts of grace that remind us what all of this is, and the point is always Jesus crucified and risen."

Following the Mass, people had the opportunity to greet and meet the new bishop at a reception held at St. Maria Goretti School.

Evening Prayer

The night before the Installation Mass, Solemn Evening Prayer was held at St. Maria Goretti Church on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. In his homily, Bishop Hying called John "the great forerunner of Christ."

He said, "I picture John with wild hair, eating locusts and honey. He calls us to surrender ourselves to God. John points away from himself to Jesus. Like John the Baptist, we are called to affirm Jesus as Lord."

Bishop Hying reminded those attending that the prayer service and Mass the next day are not primarily celebrations focusing on a new bishop. Rather, he said, "We put all of the attention on Jesus. We are called to be a bridge so that we can bring others to the Lord. May the fiery power of John the Baptist enflame us. Know that the Lord always loves us."

Bishop Hying said a "big word of thanks" to Monsignor Bartylla. "He did a fabulous job for seven months."

A native of West Allis, Wis., Bishop Hying was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on May 20, 1989. He served as a parochial vicar for St. Anthony Parish, Menomonee Falls, from 1989 to 1994. He then served as a team member for La Sagrada Familia Parroquia in the Dominican Republic from 1994 to 1997.

He returned to the United States and served at several parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before being named dean of formation and then rector at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, Milwaukee. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as an auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee in 2011. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed him as the fourth Bishop of Gary, Ind. Pope Francis appointed him as the fifth Bishop of Madison on April 25, 2019, to succeed Bishop Robert C. Morlino, who died in November of 2018.

Mary C. Uhler also contributed to this story.

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