February 6, 2015

Priests from archdiocese participate in Bishop Coyne’s installation Mass

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne greets priests from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who attended the Jan. 29 liturgy in which Bishop Coyne was installed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Burlington. (Photo by Cori Fugere Urban, Vermont Catholic magazine)

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne greets priests from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who attended the Jan. 29 liturgy in which Bishop Coyne was installed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Burlington. (Photo by Cori Fugere Urban, Vermont Catholic magazine)

By Sean Gallagher

Eight priests from across central and southern Indiana represented the Archdiocese of Indianapolis at the Jan. 29 Mass at St Joseph Co-Cathedral in Burlington, Vt., in which Bishop Christopher J. Coyne was installed as the 10th bishop of Burlington.

As the opening procession of the liturgy came to a close, Bishop Coyne, who served for four years as an auxiliary bishop for the Church in central and southern Indiana, came and shook the hands of the archdiocesan priests.

According to Father John Hollowell, Bishop Coyne said to him and his brother priests, “Thanks for letting me be a part of your presbyterate.”

“He stood by us until he was called forward to take his new seat, and, in that moment I was struck with feelings of joy for him, but also sadness for us. It was a beautiful gesture,” said Father Hollowell, pastor of Annunciation Parish in Brazil and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle.

Father Eric Augenstein, archdiocesan vocations director, also attended the liturgy and was impressed by how it displayed many connections tying the Church in central and southern Indiana to the faithful in other parts of the country and beyond.

“Priests, religious and lay faithful from Indianapolis, Boston, Burlington and many other places joined together for the celebration of Bishop Coyne’s installation as a visible sign of the universality of the Church,” Father Augenstein said.

“For us, as priests of Indianapolis, our presence there was an opportunity to show our gratitude to Bishop Coyne for his leadership in our archdiocese, particularly for the time he served as our apostolic administrator, and to be able to convey to the people of the Diocese of Burlington that they have a gifted, personable, and pastoral shepherd in their new bishop.”

Father Jonathan Meyer, pastor of All Saints Parish in Dearborn County, listened carefully to Bishop Coyne’s homily in which the new shepherd of the Church in Vermont called the faithful to join him in reaching out into the broader society with the Good News of Jesus.

“These are not just ideas to us,” Father Meyer said. “These are realities that we saw him espouse here among us in [the Archdiocese of] Indianapolis. What Vermont is going to have to dream and try to picture, Bishop Coyne has already shown us.”

On his blog, “Cafe St. Isidore—Digital Conversations with a Catholic Priest,” Father Augenstein described Bishop Coyne’s preaching as “one of the best homilies I have ever heard.”

“It was perfectly suited to his new diocese in Vermont, yet applicable to the Church universal,” Father Augenstein said. “Better than just about anything else I have read or heard, it sets forth the current state of life and ministry in the Church, especially in the United States, and offers a plan for how to minister in today’s context.”

Father Hollowell appreciated that, in his homily, Bishop Coyne was clear in mentioning that many people are leaving the Church and that the prevailing culture is growing ever more secular.

“However, his homily also conveyed a sense of great hope and optimism,” Father Hollowell said. “The situation is dire, but we can turn this around if we work together.”

Father Meyer was ultimately glad to have made the trip from his home in southeastern Indiana to Burlington to witness and be a part of what the Church has done for centuries in locales around the world.

“I am very thankful to have attended,” Father Meyer said. “It is great to see the Church doing what the Church does: calling people to serve, appointing people to ministry and confirming them in their roles. This has always been part of the Church.”
 

(To read the text of Bishop Coyne’s homily, which he preached at his Jan. 29 installation Mass, log on to bishopcoyne.org/homily-from-the-mass-of-installation-january-29-2015.)

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