Catholic Sentinel photo by Bob KernsArchbishop Sample greets worshipers outside as Mass is about to begin.
                                                                   Catholic Sentinel photo by Bob Kerns
Archbishop Sample greets worshipers outside as Mass is about to begin.
At the installation of Archbishop Alexander Sample to lead the Archdiocese of Portland, Archbishop John Vlazny has welcomed the crowd by making them laugh.

"Well, you came," the retiring archbishop said. "You never know when you might throw a party and no one might come. More important than that is that he came," he said, pointing to Archbishop Sample, who beamed.

"We thank God for our Catholic faith and for giving us a new shepherd," Archbishop Vlazny said.  

He then pointed out the archbishop's mother, who got big applause.

Archbishop Carlo Vigano, papal nuncio to the United States, then took the podium and addressed the new archbishop.

"Thank you for answering so generously this call to service," Archbishop Vigano said, explaing that bishops have a role to speak truth to the church and the wider society.  

"The archbishop is a prophet, especially when this culture leaves little or no room for transcendance," Archbishop Vigano said, adding that the church is confident that Archbishop Sample will be "a servant and witness of hope."  

An official letter from Pope Benedict to Archbishop Sample, one of his last appointments, bestowed hope and blessings and mentioned the beautiful rose gardens of Portland.

A council of priests from the archdiocese are now being shown the letter by Mary Jo Tully, chancellor of the archdiocese.