Fort Worth Diocese celebrates installation of Dallas’ new bishop

by Susan Moses

North Texas Catholic

February 10, 2017

Bishop Edward J. Burns, the new bishop of Dallas, displays the apostolic letter on his appointment during his Feb. 9 installation Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas. Since 2009, Bishop Burns had been the bishop of the Diocese of Juneau, a 37,600-square mile expanse of territory in southeast Alaska. (CNS photo/Kevin Bartram, for the Texas Catholic)

 

DALLAS — Bishop Michael Olson witnessed the installation of Bishop Edward Burns as the eighth bishop of Dallas on Feb. 9 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.

A highlight of the Installation Mass was the reading of the Apostolic Mandate by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop Burns then presented this document, the official appointment signed by Pope Francis, by carrying it aloft through the aisles of the cathedral and into the overflow rooms. He drew a laugh when he made a special stop to show his mother.

Following the acceptance of the Apostolic Mandate, Bishop Burns was seated in the bishop’s chair, the symbol of his teaching authority. Representatives of the diocese and the community, including religious leaders from other faiths, then greeted him warmly.

Bishop Burns headed the diocese of Juneau, Alaska since 2009. He thanked the three priests from Juneau who attended, and he commented that those three comprise one third of the priests in Juneau, which has about 10,000 Catholics spread over 37,600 square miles.

Before Mass, he compared the dioceses of Juneau and Dallas, which has 1.3 million Catholics in nine counties. He expects to find vast differences (for example, a seaplane is not required to visit outlying parishes in Dallas), but he said that “in both areas people hunger and thirst to have a great relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Edward J. Burns, Dallas new bishop, raises the chalice during his Feb. 9 installation Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas. (CNS photo/Kevin Bartram, for the Texas Catholic)

Also, he discussed the plight of the immigrant, saying “the Church is with you,” just as someone in Egypt welcomed Joseph, Mary, and Jesus when they fled to escape Herod’s persecution.

“We will serve anyone. . . .We will not call them Catholic or Protestant. We will not call them Jewish or Muslim. We will not call them rich or poor. We will call them our brothers and our sisters,” he said.

In his homily, Bishop Burns noted that he will have many questions about Dallas, but the most important questions he asks will be, “Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you? Or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in? Or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me,’” the bishop said, quoting Matthew 25.

Three cardinals, more than 50 bishops, and scores of priests, deacons, and seminarians attended, along with a crowd that lined up hours before and overflowed the cathedral.

The cardinals present were Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who headed the Dallas Diocese until October, when he was named Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who served as the bishop of Pittsburgh when Bishop Burns was a priest there. Bishop Burns called Cardinal Wuerl his “mentor and model of ordained ministry.”

Bishop Burns was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1983. He is a former rector of St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh and former director of the U.S. bishops’ national offices dealing with clergy, vocations, and priestly formation.

Fort Worth’s Bishop Olson said, “I offer my prayers for Bishop Burns and for the Diocese of Dallas during these challenging times of transition in our society in North Texas.

“They are times of opportunity; they are times of grace. I thank him for saying ‘yes’ to his vocation from Christ,” Bishop Olson continued. “I look forward to collaborating with him as a neighbor and brother as we each strive to serve faithfully the people of God in our distinct dioceses.”

DALLAS — Bishop Michael Olson witnessed the installation of Bishop Edward Burns as the eighth bishop of Dallas on Feb. 9 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas.

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