Deacon Ron Tutson and Master of Ceremonies Adrian Fulay aid Bishop-elect Michael C. Barber, SJ, with his oath.
josÉ luis aguirre/The Catholic Voice
In evening vespers service,
a profession and oath made
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, fulfilled two prerequisites to being ordained as a bishop at an evening vespers service May 24 in the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
With Archbishop Alex J. Brunett, who had served as apostolic administrator since last October, presiding over the hourlong service, then-Bishop-elect Barber made his profession of faith and oath of fidelity.
These promises were made, in a clear, strong voice, in the presence of the Most Rev. Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio to the United States and the personal representative of Pope Francis.
Seated together were three living previous bishops of Oakland: the Most Rev. John S. Cummins, bishop emeritus of Oakland; the Most Rev. Allen Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit; and the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco.
In his homily, Archbishop Brunett offered the incoming bishop some reflections on the meaning of the role of bishop, particularly as it pertains to Oakland.
"Bishop Barber, you have been chosen by our Holy Father to serve this local Church, which is ultimately not so much a title of honor or respect but a ministry of service, of availability, and of vulnerability. In you, you must find a father who is compassionate yet strong, a brother who is patient and accessible, a co-worker who encourages and listens, a humble minister of God who teaches others how to pray and live in awe before the mystery of God. As a good shepherd, may you come to know personally the sheep of this flock, and may you gladly give your whole life for them.
"Do not see your ministry here as passing through Oakland to a more important diocese but rather a commitment to live and die with the priests and people you serve. May you take to heart the words of St. Augustine at the time he himself was made a bishop: 'For you I am a bishop. With you I am a Christian.'"
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