|Mary, Mother of God|
Here are the remarks that I shared with the Conference today:
Thank you Cardinal Wuerl, for this time in the presentation, and for your personal encouragement.
As Cardinal Wuerl mentioned, I have been appointed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the new Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision. Not long after my appointment to Fort Worth, I was appointed the Vice Delegate for the Pastoral Provision with special responsibility for Texas. So, in these years, I have learned much about the history of the Pastoral Provision since its establishment in 1981. Being the Bishop of a Diocese where the Pastoral Provision has been a part of life for nearly twenty years, and as well, where in the ecclesial landscape there are good and fraternal relationships between the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth [clergy, lay and episcopal] I can personally testify to the blessings that the Pastoral Provision has brought to the Diocese of Fort Worth and how the life of the Pastoral Provision and the priests ordained through it [and in that context a parish community] can truly be a blessing in building up the communion of Faith in a Diocese. Both are integral to the life of our local Church.
I want to especially thank my long time friend Archbishop Myers for his personal encouragement and help and his dedication as Ecclesiastical Delegate these past six years. I want to make special mention of Msgr. James Sheehan, the secretary of the Pastoral Provision who went home to the Lord earlier this year.
The Pastoral Provision is set up so that an Episcopal Priest can undertake a journey of discernment, formation, and theological assessment so that he can ordained as a diocesan priest, incarndinated in a Diocese. Its focus and purpose is in some ways complementary, but different from the Personal Ordinariate.
I am grateful that the theological faculty which assists in this vital work will remain at Seton Hall in Newark. As I work in these next weeks and months ahead to organize the ongoing work for this, I appreciate also the chance to continue the communication with those involved in the new Ordinariate. In this same vein, I will certainly do whatever I can to continue to build on all that has been to assist any of you in your questions about the Pastoral Provision, or in your assistance to any Episcopalian priest who may approach you about priestly ministry. I ask you also for your patience and understanding as the administrative staff that will process these requests is set up in Fort Worth.
I wish to thank Cardinal Levada for his confidence, and to thank all of your for your encouragement and support in the work of the Pastoral Provision. I believe it is a concrete expression of the unity of Christ and His Church, and of the will of that same Lord that "all may be one."
God bless you and thank you.