Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Faith/Spirituality : Archbishop Vlazny's Past Columns
2/13/2013 1:53:00 PM
Vultum Christi Contemplari!

Most Rev. John Vlazny
Archbishop Emeritus of Portland


Vultum Christi Contemplari!  (To Contemplate the Face of Christ!) This has been the motto of our new Archbishop, Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample, ever since his ordination to the episcopacy back on Jan. 25, 2006.  These words were taken from the writings of Pope John Paul II in which he reminded us all that the task of the church is to make the face of Christ shine in today’s world.  The Pope said, “Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated his face.”
 
That motto is especially appropriate for our new archbishop as he arrives here in western Oregon during this Year of Faith.  Our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in calling for a Year of Faith encourages us all to renew our relationship with Christ and to invite others who have looked away for a long time to look back and see the goodness and love of our God in that holy face.  Archbishop Sample, right from the get-go, has made it clear that he fully and enthusiastically embraces the New Evangelization, namely, the proclamation of the good news in a contemporary, relevant and attractive manner.  He quickly indicated his readiness for this challenge through his disarming familiarity with everything that twitters, tweets and texts across cyberspace!  It should not be surprising that a graduate of the Michigan Technological University would be so savvy when it comes to the technology so popular these days, especially among our young people.

Word of the archbishop’s appointment as my successor came to me on Wednesday, January 16th.  When the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, called from Washington, I was involved in a conference call meeting.  I arrived at my office after the 90-minute telephone meeting and my Executive Assistant, Rozanne Johnson, told me the Nuncio would be calling at 11 a.m.  I right away thought to myself, “This is it!”  Now, I have to confess that I thought the same on other occasions in previous months, but this time it really was “it.”  He told me that my successor would be Archbishop Sample and we agreed that the announcement would be made on Tuesday, Jan. 29.  Even though I had been awaiting this call for several months, once it arrived I was just a bit unsettled.  It was no longer a possibility or probability that I would soon have a replacement.  He would soon be knocking at my door.

Archbishop Sample flew into Portland on Monday, Jan. 28.  Msgr. Dennis O’Donovan, my Vicar General, and I had dinner with him at my residence.  Fortunately, Sister Geralda Meskill, the retired overseer of my residence, had come for a visit and prepared a nice dinner.  I was happy to have the opportunity to visit informally with the archbishop.  Archbishop Sample began his first day as the Archbishop-designate of Portland with Mass at the cathedral, a press conference at the Pastoral Center, meetings with the Pastoral Center staff, and a nice dinner with the archdiocesan curia.  Since it was Catholic Schools Week, the next day I was scheduled to celebrate a Mass with St. Mary Cathedral School children.  I invited the archbishop to preside and to introduce himself to the youngsters and their families.  In his homily it was obvious he is an experienced and effective teacher.  On Thursday the archbishop returned to Marquette, Mich., where he has served as bishop these past seven years.  

His installation is scheduled for Easter Tuesday, April 2, at the University of Portland’s Chiles Center.  There will be an evening prayer service at the cathedral on Easter Monday.  Fortunately we already have an installation committee in place which has been meeting over the last few months to plan the welcome and installation of our new archbishop.  Msgr. O’Donovan serves as Chair and Todd Cooper serves as the executive coordinator.  Some very generous people are giving of their time and talents to make this a wonderful archdiocesan celebration as we embrace the new beginnings which accompany the arrival of a new chief shepherd.

Over the last few months I have become a bit more interested in what the church expects of an archbishop emeritus, which will be my role once the new archbishop is in place.  Just shortly before the official appointment of our new archbishop, I was informed that I am to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese until the installation of Archbishop Sample.  Church law required that I write my letter of resignation to Pope Benedict when I celebrated my 75th birthday last Feb. 22.  I shall remain an archbishop, but I will not be the Archbishop!  The Congregation for Bishops in Rome has prepared a book entitled “Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops.”  In that book there is a chapter about the bishop emeritus.  It had not interested me much before, but suddenly it became the most important chapter in the book.

It begins with words from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy where he states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  I am not sure how well I fought the good fight, but I am just about to finish the race and I thank God that, with His help and yours, I have managed to keep the faith.  Of course my challenge was to do more than keep the faith, I should also have spread the faith and I am not quite sure how well I have done that.  But I readily identify with these words of Blessed John Newman, “We are links in a chain and must not allow the fire to be extinguished in our time.”  The fire of faith is indeed still burning here, even though many efforts were made to extinguish it over the past 15 years.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be a link in the chain of bishops who have carried the torch and that I am now able to pass it on to Archbishop Sample, still burning, even brightly at times.

As an archbishop emeritus, I shall still be able to preside at the sacraments, including Confirmation and Ordinations, but always with the permission of the candidate’s bishops.  I may continue to live within the boundaries of the archdiocese and I plan to do so.  I shall be living on the campus of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon in Beaverton.  Certainly I’m willing to give assistance where I can, but I am delighted not to be in charge of anything anymore.  One additional right that is mine, according to the directory, is to be buried in a cemetery belonging to the archdiocese!  Mount Calvary Cemetery will provide me with a nice view of the surrounding area until judgment day!
But the focus now, of course, is on our new archbishop, his vision, his hopes, his agenda.  Fortunately he comes into an archdiocese where there is a wonderful presbyterate, burgeoning deacon community and highly effective religious and lay pastoral ministers.  Little by little we are digging out of our financial pitfalls of the past decade and the number of vocations to ordained ministry has tripled since 1997.  Effective and collaborative presbyteral, pastoral and finance councils are in place to give the new archbishop some valuable advice and much needed encouragement in taking on many of the challenges before us.  

We have been praying in the past few months that the Lord would send us a good shepherd to lead us and guide us.  Our prayers have been answered.  Now we prepare to welcome and support our new leader in his efforts to encourage and help us contemplate the face of Christ.  God bless you, Archbishop Sample.  The coming weeks will be difficult as you bid farewell to your many friend and coworkers in Marquette.  But we await the chance to embrace you warmly and to walk with you on our shared journey of faith.  Ad multos annos!



Advanced Search










Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved