Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Installation Mass for Archbishop Kurtz
August 15, 2:30 p.m.

Today the Archdiocese of Louisville, along with many guests and friends, gave a typically warm Kentucky welcome to Archbishop Kurtz. Warm, both in the sense of the effusive joy of the congregation as well as the temperature of the day - around 98* outside and something only slightly less warm and muggy inside the Louisville Gardens where the mass was held.

The procession was grand with the servers, many deacons, many more priests, and more bishops present in Louisville than I have ever seen before. The applause was strong and heartfelt as Archbishop Kurtz took his place at the cathedra. The assembly was eager in listing to the reading of the papal bull by the nuncio. And then there was another grand procession of people representing the Archdiocese and the civic community who formally greeted and welcomed Archbishop Kurtz to Louisville. All this in the opening rites.

These welcomes in the opening rites of the mass reached their climax when the congregation sang the gloria. This moment was particularly poignant to me. As we sang and acknowledged God's goodness, I felt a powerful sense of unity with and love for the people of this Archdiocese -this large and close knit family of Catholics gathered in one place. I knew so many of them and I knew for a moment in a more profound way of the love of God drawing us together. My heart was moved by the goodness of this blessing.

For a moment, I knew that heaven would be like this feeling of singing the Gloria. One voice, united in love with people who I love, giving praise to God who has been so good to us.

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord..."

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