Before I do anything else, I want to thank Cardinal Rigali, not just for his welcome, his support and his personal graciousness; and not just for his years of leadership with the Church in Philadelphia. Cardinal Rigali has lived his vocation in service – extraordinary service — to the Holy Father and the Catholic community worldwide. It’s a privilege to call him a brother and friend, and I’m very deeply grateful.
I am also deeply grateful to Monsignor Jean-Francois Lantheaume for being the presence of the Holy Father for us today. We remember with gratitude the service of Archbishop Pietro Sambi as Apostolic Nuncio and promise to keep his memory in our prayers.
My great thanks to the cardinals and bishops who traveled to be here today despite their own demanding schedules. Thank you brothers.
Bishop McIntyre: My thanks to you and your team for the hard and really wonderful work that went into this installation and everything surrounding it. Monsignor Rodgers, thank you for welcoming us so warmly to this extraordinary cathedral basilica. Father Gill, God bless you for the beauty of this memorable Liturgy, and my gratitude to the acolytes, musicians and choir who assisted you.
To all of my brother auxiliary bishops, I know the enormous time and labor this kind of event entails, and my thanks to each one of you for your leadership.
In a special way, I want to thank all of my brother Philadelphia priests and deacons who honor me with their presence today. You’ve already shown me uncommon friendship and support, and I will try to earn it.
To the people of Philadelphia who have embraced me with such extraordinary kindness: I promise to live as a bishop in a way that repays your great love and respect.
To all of my many friends from Rapid City and Denver – priests, deacons, my Capuchin brothers and other religious, married couples, young adults and so many personal friends – how can I begin to thank you for the places in my heart you keep alive by your love over so many years. I thank God every day for the gift of your friendship and the way you have enriched my life. God bless you a hundred times over for the kindness you’ve shown me.
Finally and most importantly, this is the kind of moment when the thoughts of a son turn to his mother and father. Their love made me, their love formed me, and their love gave me the gift of faith. In my life both of them are gone. But they live with me still in the love that my sister and brother and their families have given me throughout my priesthood. And I’m so very grateful that they’re here with me today.
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