05 June 2012

Habemus Episcopum!

5 JUNE 2012. Today, the Memorial of Saint Boniface, in the presence of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganό, Apostolic nuncio to the United States, Gregory Lawrence Parkes was ordained to the Order of Bishop and installed as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Praise be to God for His goodness and to the Holy Father for the favor of his consideration of our mission church. Archbishop Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, was the principal consecrator with co-consecrators Bishop Felipe Estévez, Bishop of St. Augustine, and Bishop John Noonan, Bishop of Orlando.

Bishop Parkes has taken as his episcopal motto: "Nomini Tuo Da Glorium." ("To Your Name, Give the Glory"). And, certainly we shall under Bishop Parkes' pastoral guidance and care.

Truly our diocese is blessed to again have a shepherd of this pilgrim flock, and we pray that Bishop Parkes will be, as Bishop Ricard was before him, a good and caring and faithful pastor of our North Florida Catholic community.

A complete copy of the celebration guide (the libretto) can be found here. Bishop Parkes' Libretto.

A complete replay of the Ordination and Installation Liturgy can be heard tonight on Divine Word Radio at 9:00 p.m. Divine Word Radio can be heard online here.


More than 2,000 of the faithful, including 22 bishops, 120 priests, and 54 deacons were on hand today to worship our Lord in the Holy Eucharist and celebrate the ordination and installation of Bishop Gregory Parkes. An FSU alum and self-proclaimed "die hard Nole," Parkes' ordination today required tents and a closed circuit television broadcast to accommodate the faithful at St. Paul Catholic Church in Pensacola. Certainly one of those on hand was Father Stephen Parkes, the older brother of the bishop and a priest in the Diocese of Orlando.


In a liturgy that touched several times on the legacy of Saint Boniface, whose memorial the universal Church celebrated today, two themes were woven into the words addressed by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Viganό, and Archbishop Wenski. The first was a lighthearted needling of Bishop Parkes for his imposing 6' 8" frame. As Archbishop Wenski put it, "As Bishop Parkes assumes his role I can assure you, with God's grace and your support and prayers, he will not be in over his head."

The second theme, though more serious, addressed the sanctity and nature of the call to the fullness of the priesthood as a bishop. Again, Archbishop Wenski stated: "A call to the order of the episcopate is a complete abandonment to the mystery of the Cross; the mystery of Love." The second reading of mass, from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy, provided the sounding for Archbishop Wenski's words to echo: "I am not ashamed, for I know Him in whom I have
believed . . . ." (2 Timothy 1:12)


From Bishop Parkes' statement at the end of his ordination and installation liturgy.
And so, the work continues now. This year provides us with a wonderful opportunity to continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

. . . .

It is my hope and my prayer that this will indeed be a year of faith here in the Diocese of Pensacola and throughout the Universal Church. And, in this local diocese, which has such missionary roots and still continues to be a missionary diocese today, that each of us will accept the challenge of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ--the eternal truths of our faith--in new ways: the new evangelization. As our Holy Father says, and I think most effectively: by witnessing to our faith and teaching our faith through the witness of our lives.

It is my hope and my prayer, as your shepherd here, that I will help to lead you and to guide you in that effort.

. . . .

Again, it is my hope and my prayer that all that we do here in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, that all that we do as a church, may always be for the glory of His name. 
May God bless you.

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