08 June 2009

Stating the obvious...

This article titled “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Bishops” was written by Mary Jo Anderson, and first appeared in the February 2005 issue of Crisis Magazine. Here are the eight points, but do read the whole article.

Eight Habits of Highly Effective Bishops

1. A bishop must be personally holy.
2. A bishop must promote and defend the authentic Catholic Faith.
3. A bishop must be committed to Catholic education.
4. A bishop must work to strengthen the Catholic family.
5. A bishop must foster vocations.
6. A bishop must love the Mass.
7. A bishop must be willing and able to start from scratch.
8. A bishop must be vocal in the public square.

When it comes to the universal ministry of the Pope, there are few things more important than the appointment of bishops. The essential nature of the place of the bishop has been understood from the earliest years of the Church. St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Church at Smyrna in about the 111 AD, said this:

"See that you all follow the Bishop, as Christ does the Father, and the presbyterium as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as a command of God. Let no one do anything connected with the Church without the Bishop. Let that be considered a valid eucharist which is under the leadership of the Bishop, or one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the Bishop appears, there let the multitude of the people be; just as where Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic church."

Every time the Holy Eucharist is celebrated, the bishop is prayed for by name; but let’s keep all our bishops throughout the world in our daily prayers. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” and the man who is a bishop has been given the fullness of the priesthood for the guidance, growth and sanctification of all of us.

Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our bishops the healthful Spirit of thy grace: and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.