In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read how God created the heavens and the earth; God created man and woman in His image and likeness — to whom He entrusted the fruits of the earth to sustain life.
Trust the Holy Spirit, be yourselves, and resist the temptation to change your people — but accompany them on the way of conversion.” These are the words that I most remember as being spoken by Pope Francis to me and to 139 other bishops ordained and installed during this past year. My recent time spent in Rome took on more of the character of a retreat with fellow bishops than that of a vacation. The nine days included lectures, time for prayer together, Mass concelebrated at the tomb of St. Peter, and the audience with Pope Francis.
So much has happened that it is very difficult for me to admit that it has been six months since my ordination and installation as the Bishop of Fort Worth. The clergy, religious, and laity have overwhelmed me with their zeal and love for their Catholic faith. My visits to our parishes, schools, campus ministry sites, and other ministries have reaffirmed the warm and gracious assessment offered to me by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Apostolic Nuncio, at the end of the ordination liturgy celebrated with 10,000 people at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Jan. 29, 2014: “I will share with the Holy Father that the Church in Fort Worth is very much alive and flourishing.”