Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We Have a New Bishop!

The Most Reverend Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was installed as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland on May 5, 2009.

Our new bishop is young (52--younger than me!). He's a native of San Diego and is a product of public schools, and his dad was a fisherman. He's smart, reputed to be theologically conservative, appreciates the Latin Mass, and is fluent in Italian and Spanish.

His resume is impressive; what I thought was significant is that he asked to be a pastor. He was assigned to a parish in Calexico, which sits right next to the border between California and Mexico. Not an easy parish assignment!

When Bishop Cordileone's appointment was announced, my pastor, Fr. P., wondered how long he would be with us. Fr. P doesn't think it will be long, because of the Bishop's youth: Oakland is but a stepping-stone. (Hmmm... how long before Roger Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles retires?)

Oakland is a challenge, covering many ethnicities, many economic groups, spanning urban, suburban, and agricultural communities. Cultural and political clashes are common and unavoidable. We have a new Cathedral (more on that later--but I was surprised, given the negative reviews I've heard, at how warm a space it is inside) and the bills that come with it. A new high school has been promised to those living in the fast-growing Tri-Valley area (Livermore-San Ramon-Pleasanton), which has been deferred over and over again and the faithful there are becoming restless. Meanwhile, there are those who want the Diocese to focus more on social justice issues in the inner cities of Oakland and Richmond.

Bishop Cordileone--whose name means "lion-hearted"--must shepherd us all.

Please keep him in your prayers.

picture courtesy of The Catholic Voice