It felt fitting today to watch a portion of the wonderful press conference announcing the naming by Pope Francis of Bishop Peter F. Christensen, as the Eighth Bishop of of the Diocese of Boise. That it came to my attention on a day when Pope Francis asked in his remarks at the Wednesday audience that the faithful pray for their bishops felt like a happy coincidence. Pope Francis diverted from his prepared remarks to say:
“We understand, therefore, that it is not a position of prestige, an honorary role. The Bishop is not an honorary role it is a service. Jesus wanted it this way. There should not be room in the church for a worldly mentality. A worldly mentality speaks of a man who has an ‘ecclesiastical career and has become a bishop’. There should be no place for such a mentality in the Church. The Bishop serves, it is not a position of honor, to boast about”.
In the little bit of the press conference that I saw, Bishop Christensen appears to have a true heart for service.
“That would be my desire too, that you keep me in your prayers, that I have an understanding heart, that I really know what God wants for me to do in union with you. That would be greatly appreciated.”
“I promise to give you my heart, my efforts, my fervent prayers,” he told the people of Idaho. “I look forward to all that God asks of us,” he added, as we journey to “meet the Father face to face; and that’s where we will feel most at home.”
“I look forward to sharing that journey with you.”
The heart of a shepherd, desiring to share the journey “home” with the faithful of his flock? That looks to me like “The Grace of Yes” in action!