Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/3/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

It is always encouraging to me to hear a priest speak of his Bishop with respect and affection, like Fr Paul did of Bishop Joseph McFadden. It reminds me of what I believe is the most important character trait among the many vital and important aspects of the calling of a Diocesan Bishop. That is to be a spiritual father to the priests and deacons under his care.

Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden

Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/3/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Bishop Joseph McFadden, Fr Paul Schenck, pastors, Catholic Bishops, Deacon Keith Fournier


HARRISBURG, PA (Catholic Online) - The sudden death of the tenth Bishop of Harrisburg, Joseph Patrick McFadden shocked not only the faithful of the Diocese he cared for but many others who also held him in such high esteem. It is a great loss.  

The Bishop had been meeting with his brother Bishops from Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in a regularly scheduled gathering. There was no indication he was suffering from any health problems. Reports indicate that he awakened on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2013 at the rectory where he was staying as a guest. He was feeling quite ill.

Shortly thereafter, he was taken to a hospital and promounced dead at 7:40 AM on Tuesday morning, May 2, 2013. The shock of this loss has shaken the faithful. The Bishop was only 65 years old. He had only served as the ordinary for the Diocese of Harrisburg for three years. However, he was deeply loved by the Lord's people of that little portion of His Church. The outcry from the faithful and the numerous gatherings for prayer, testify to that fact.

Prior to his Episcopal service in Harrisburg, he served as an auxiliary Bishop in Philadelphia. He was consecrated as a Bishop in June of 2004. He was appointed by His Holiness Benedict XVI to give oversight to the faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg on June 22, 2010 and installed in that office on Aug. 18, 2010.

The Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is now being overseen by what is called a College of Consultors. They have eight days to elect an administrator who will provide oversight until a new Bishop is chosen by Pope Francis.

I did not know Bishop Joseph McFadden. However, a very dear friend of mine of several decades, and a Pro-Life Champion, Fr Paul Schenck, serves as a priest of the Harrisburg Diocese. He is assigned to a parish as well as serving as the Director of the Respect Life Office.

Fr. Paul always spoke of the late Bishop as "my Bishop" in our conversations. He did so with such affection, warmth and respect that it inspired me. In fact, the moment I heard the news of this shocking death I called Fr. Paul. His reaction affirmed once again that Bishop Joseph McFadden was a Bishop who knew how to Bishop.

I have served as a deacon of the Catholic Church for seventeen years. In that time I have worked with many priests. In fact, several of my closest friends are priests. The priest's relationship with his Bishop is so crucial. When it is not solid and pastoral, it undermines their well being, causes them great sadness and impedes their effective and fruitful priestly ministry.

I believe that the lack of personal and pastoral care from a Bishop can affect not only priests but deacons, religious in the Diocese and the lay faithful. The Bishop is the Shepherd of the flock; much more than simply an administrator. When the Bishop understands and lives this charism of his office the flock under his care flourishes. The faithful, in every state and vocation, can exercise their vital ministry to God's people in freedom and joy. The Church shines with the joy of the Risen Christ.

It is always encouraging to me to hear a priest speak of his Bishop with respect and affection, like Fr Paul did of Bishop Joseph McFadden. It reminds me of what I believe is the most important character trait among the many vital and important aspects of the calling of a Diocesan Bishop. That is to be a spiritual father to the priests and deacons under his care.

The great Bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine, on the Anniversary of his own Episcopal ordination uttered these words in a sermon:   "I am fearful of what I am for you, but I draw strength from what I am with you. For you I am a bishop, and with you I am a Christian. The former designates an office received, the latter the foundation of salvation."

The body of the late Bishop Joseph Patrick McFadden will arrive at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Sunday. There will be a Vespers Service for the faithful at 7 p.m. His body will lay in state at St. Patrick until Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2013.

Then it will be moved to the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. A funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.   Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Live the Easter Way! The Holy Spirit which Transformed the Early Church Enlists Us! Watch

Image of Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminates the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I just watched Pope Francis preside at the Easter Vigil at the Basilica of St Peter. His homily on encountering Jesus and finding our own Galilee was beautiful. Now, I am about to depart for the Easter Vigil at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. I will greet the ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter