Catholic Diocese Gets A New Bishop

Bishop William E. Koenig immediately following his installation service. Source: Catholic News

For over 100 years, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware held an episcopal ordination and installation service.

Over 900 people crowded into St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington on July 13 to witness the mass celebrating the diocese’s new shepherd, Bishop William E. Koenig. The event attracted Catholic luminaries from across the United States including over 30 bishops and archbishops. Some notables in attendance were Cardinals Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

Also, in attendance were nearly all the diocese priests, permanent deacons, and seminarians.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore served as the principal consecrator and chief celebrant for the first part of the Mass. He was joined by Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Centre, New York, and now-retired Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington as co-consecrators.

(Bishop Barres faithfully served the diocese of Wilmington for 19 years and was Bishop Koenig’s childhood priest.)

During his remarks the papal nuncio (ambassador) to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre announced, “Today a new era begins for this beautiful diocese.”

During his remarks, Archbishop Lori said in his homily that Bishop Koenig knows “how easy it is to become absorbed in the heavy demands of church administration. But the foundation of your episcopal ministry, as you know, is in evangelizing catechesis.”

Admonishing the new bishop to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul model for the people how Jesus’ words and actions can be made incarnate in through ministry. This, he said, comes from spending time with God in prayer and absorbing the word of God while incorporating spiritual disciplines. Emphasizing the importance of listening, the archbishop asserted that by hearing the needs and aspirations of parishes one is able to faithfully shepherd others fulfilling their vocations through a dialogue of charity, conversion, truth and salvation.

“This dialogue of love embraces, with missionary zeal, the unchurched and the searching, and even those who have hardened their hearts against Christ and against this church,” Archbishop Lori said.

The Mass was streamed live on YouTube, and at its height had more than 900 live viewers. Messages of congratulations came in from around the world in the comments.

Responding to the outpouring of love and support, Bishop Koenig said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve. Conscious of the diverse gifts of the people of the diocese, Bishop Koenig mentioned he couldn’t wait to find opportunities to collaborate. He said, “to be messengers of God’s love for all, to bring the light of Christ to others, to preach the good news in word and deed, and it is toward this that I most eagerly look.”

Source: Catholic News