Welcome! This blog celebrates both the local and the catholic -- that is, universal -- aspects of the Roman Catholic Church by sharing reflections on experiences of the Church in a variety of settings and cultures. Postings will come from around the world and around the corner. You don't have to be a Catholic to come along.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We call him Bishop Bill

We know a number of bishops. One of them is a Lutheran.

On Saturday we were honored to attend the installation of our good friend Rev. Dr. William O. ("Tall Bill") Gafkjen as bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The beautiful service, held at a large Methodist church in Indianapolis, would have seemed familiar to any Roman Catholic. The order of the liturgy closely followed the Mass and many of the prayers, including the Creed, were nearly identical to their Catholic counterparts. Two of the hymns were ones I have heard frequently in our own cathedral and in our seminary. Another, "Taste and See," was written by Catholic composer and former Cincinnatian James E. Moore, Jr.

All of this reminded me that, as Pope Benedict XVI said in 2008, "We must never tire of praying for the unity of Christians!"

Closing out the Week of Christian Unity that year, the Holy Father taught: "We all have the duty to pray and work for the overcoming of every division between Christians, responding to Christ's desire ut unum sint. Prayer, conversion of heart, the reinforcement of the bonds of communion, form the essence of this spiritual movement that we hope will soon lead the disciples of Christ to celebrate the Eucharist together, the manifestation of their full unity."

Meanwhile, congratulations Bishop Bill! May your ministry continue to bear abundant fruit!

1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    It was wonderful to have you and Ann with us yesterday. I am grateful for your friendship, support and encouragement. I join you, Pope Benedict, and millions of sisters and brothers in Christ across many boundaries and divisions to pray that, together, we will live faithfully into the unity that is God's gift to us and to the world. For there is, indeed, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Peace be with you, my friend. -- Bishop Bill