Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A new Bishop...

I wrote the following for my local paper:

It is with great joy and pride when I heard that on Nov 18th Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor Barry Knestout, as an auxiliary bishop, for the 140 parishes in the Washington diocese, to be ordained a Bishop at St. Matthews Cathedral on Dec. 29th. This is the first Bishop ever from my town, as well as Prince Georges County. I can see Bishop John Carroll smile down from heaven as he sees the fruit from his call in June 1783, when a small group of priests met at the chapel, then called Whitemarsh, and now known as Sacred Heart Chapel right here up on the hill in Bowie, MD, were here to discuss how the Catholic Church in the new United States would be governed and its property managed. Carroll was then chosen to become the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and was sent to England to be consecrated a bishop on August 15, 1790. Who would of thought that my town would be so blessed with so many vocations to the priesthood as well as becoming a bombing community of wonderful people.
Now anyone who grew up in the 70’s around here had to encounter this amazing family!!! The late Deacon Mr. Knestout served as a deacon at St Pius X Catholic Church and his wife Carolyn raised nine great children. To know that our very own streets had kids playing in them like Monsignor Barry who attended St. Pius X elementary school and Bowie Senior High School before receiving a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Maryland in December 1984. In 1985 he entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD to study for the priesthood and was ordained a priest in June 1989. He received the title Monsignor in 1999 by Pope John Paul II. In my teens I hung out with his brother Mark, the eighth of the nine and another great guy! It was so exciting when Mark joined his brother and was ordained a priest on May 23, 1998. I know my older brothers and sisters went to school with the older Knestout kids too. There is a special pride when the phones are ringing to announce that one of our own has been given this great honor. I love how the Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl called our new bishop, “a native son of this archdiocese. He was born, formed in the faith and educated here”.
Bishop-elect Knestouts most recent role in the Washington Diocese was in planning Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington this April. He was perfect for the job with his great organization and his degree in architecture from Univ of MD, helped him to oversee a contest for architecture students from Catholic University to design the furnishings for the Papal Mass. Bishop-elect Knestout’s job in the diocese, as of now, is the moderator of the curia and vicar for administration. His role as a bishop will be to assist the archbishop in managing and helping to supervise the administrative work and care for the 580,000 members of the Washington Diocese.

Let us pray for this amazing new Bishop and for all the clergy that try to live a holy and and fruitful life to better serve us!!!


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