Archbishop José H. Gomez blessed the mitres, crosiers and rings of the three new Los Angeles auxiliary bishops during Solemn Vespers Sept. 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The three auxiliary bishops — Robert Barron, Joseph V. Brennan and David G. O’Connell — also took an oath of fidelity after professing their faith in the Catholic Church.
“With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed,” they professed.
The evening before their ordination to the episcopacy, each bishop promised “that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.”
The oath includes handing down and explaining the teachings of the faith, observing ecclesial laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law, and to follow the teachings of the bishops “as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith.” The auxiliary bishops also vowed to assist the diocesan bishops so that their apostolic activity will be carried out “in communion with the Church.”
Bishop Brennan, who gave the homily, focused on the call to reflect God’s light in the world.
“Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? That’s what Mary did,” he said, before breaking into the Magnificat in Spanish, “Proclama mi alma la grandeza del Se√±or.”
Bishop Brennan further reflected on the reading from the Letter of James, the author of which is believed to be James, the leader of the Jewish Christian community who was stoned to death in 62 AD.
“Do not, my brothers, speak ill of one another,” the letter reads. “There is but one lawgiver and judge, one who can save and destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?”
“Do not judge your brothers and sisters,” Bishop Brennan said. “Reflect God’s presence. Walk in the footsteps of Mary, who did so wonderfully.”
After the reading, friends and family brought up the pontifical insignia — the bishops’ mitres, crosiers and rings. Brian O’Connell, 12, came all the way from Cork, Ireland, to carry his uncle’s ring.
“It’s great,” he said of Bishop O’Connell’s ordination. “He’s a great person.”
Albertine Sister Domicela Pekala, who helped bring up Bishop Barron’s insignia, said the ordination was bittersweet.
“We will be missing him,” said the sister, who met Bishop Barron in the Archdiocese of Chicago through a mutual friend, the late Cardinal Francis George, OMI.
“But our loss is the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ gain,” she said. “We will keep him in prayer and with God’s help, he will do well.”