To all of you in Pueblo present for Msgr. Stephen Berg’s ordination and installation as Bishop of Pueblo I am writing this post from Santa Ana to be with all of you now through prayer and social media! Tomorrow afternoon and evening is our annual Catholic Charities Mardi Gras Gala which supports the ministry of Catholic Charities Orange in its outreach to so many: mothers, children, health care refugees and pro-life work and much more. The importance of the work of Catholic Charities was highlighted by Pope Benedict XVI early in his Pontificate.
The presence of the Diocesan Bishop, auxiliary and Emeritus is an essential witness of unity and ecclesial in mission. Until yesterday I was going to be able to be present at Msgr. Berg’s ordination and return early afternoon tomorrow in time for the Gala.
However the weather forecast for here late tonight and tomorrow , and into the weekend for heavy rain, storms , flooding , possible water spouts and tornadoes could severely impact the flights into Orange County and delay or prevent my return in time for this event, which I was not able to be present for last year. So, I regretfully conveyed this to Msgr. Berg early yesterday afternoon it would be better for me to stay here than to risk not being present.
Congratulations and blessings and prayers to you Steve, and ad multos annos!
I thank you for your friendship and counsel and great and steady ministry in Fort Worth in our years of ministry together. Msgr. Berg’s father, like mine worked for the US Postal Service, and our mothers are retired nurses. We are both the oldest of large Catholic families. We both own grand pianos and play the piano (although he classical and me ragtime)!
Your love of rural ministry, your history in Colorado and Montana, your love of music and nature (reflected in your priestly ministry) will be great gifts to the people of the Diocese of Pueblo! I know they will welcome you with great love, and I know that what you said at your press conference – that you will give them your all- will indeed be the case. Your call to serve the Diocese of Pueblo certainly reflects the words of Pope Francis this morning!
From Southern California, the whole Diocese of Orange and I are praying for you and rooting for you! I will make an effort to visit you soon.
Your brother in Christ,