Standing before more than 20 bishops, dozens of priests, and more than 2,000 of his “closest friends,” Los Angeles native Marc V. Trudeau was ordained as the newest auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles just a few miles down the freeway from where he was born.
The Episcopal Ordination Mass took place June 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and was presided by Archbishop José H. Gomez, who in his homily called Trudeau a “good priest, with a heart for your people.”
“But now our Lord is calling you to go deeper, to go where you have never gone before,” said Archbishop Gomez, referring to the words of Jesus to Simon Peter that Bishop Trudeau chose for his episcopal motto: “Put out into deep water.”
“Every bishop is an ordinary worker: ‘A man with a boat,’ like Simon Peter in the Gospel,” Archbishop Gomez said.
“Bishop-elect Trudeau, today Jesus is calling you, just as he called Peter. He is asking for your ‘boat,’ for your faith, your abilities and gifts.”
During the Rite of Episcopal Ordination, Archbishop Gomez was joined by Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Roger Mahony and retired auxiliary bishop Joseph Sartoris -- also native Angelenos themselves -- whom Trudeau chose as co-consecrators.
As a priest, Trudeau served as Cardinal Mahony’s priest secretary for six years. Sartoris was Trudeau’s predecessor as pastor of St. Mary Margaret Alacoque in Lomita before being named auxiliary bishop in 1994.
Pope Francis, who appointed Trudeau in April, was represented at the Mass by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States.
Before reading the apostolic mandate signed by Pope Francis, the French-born diplomat joked with Trudeau, whose father is French-Canadian.
“You have a nice French name,” Archbishop Pierre said to laughs. “I can assure you there are no geopolitical connections.”
Archbishop Pierre alluded to Trudeau’s short dental career, saying he hoped Trudeau would be a shepherd to all people, including “those in need of a good dentist.”
At the end of the Mass, the newly ordained bishop repeated his surprise at the pope’s pick.
“I’m still thinking the bar was lowered too much,” he said of his appointment.
“I know he likes to go out to the periphery, but he’s never seen Burbank,” he said in a reference to the suburb of Los Angeles where he grew up.
Before his appointment by Pope Francis, then-Msgr. Trudeau was the rector of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo.
Speaking to Angelus News, this year’s class of new priests from St. John’s described their rector as a “faithful man of prayer.”
“My best memories of Msgr. Marc will be the regular opportunities he took to ‘hang out’ with the seminarians,” said Father Matt Wheeler, who was ordained a priest on June 2. “Meals, recreation, prayer, you name it, he’s there,” said Fr. Wheeler.
Marc V. Trudeau was born in 1957 in Los Angeles. His father, Paul, was a Canadian-born naturalized U.S. citizen who had served in the Air Force during the Korean War before getting into the printing business in Southern California. His mother, Belva is originally from rural Illinois.
He has two sisters and two brothers, including a fraternal twin, Michael, who describes him as the more “professional student” of the two.
Throughout his 13 years in high school, university and dental school at USC, Trudeau worked at a Vons grocery store in Burbank. It was during the last year of dental school that he recalls feeling the call to the priesthood. He eventually entered St. John’s Seminary and was ordained a priest by Cardinal Mahony in 1991.
At the Solemn Vespers celebrated the previous evening at the Cathedral, Bishop Trudeau made his profession of faith (the recitation of the Nicene Creed) and pronounced an oath of obedience to the Holy Father.
He also gave a brief homily reflecting on a phrase from the evening’s short reading from the Letter of James: “Act on this word.”
“We are overwhelmed, surrounded, deluged...drowned by words every day,” the bishop-elect remarked. “But act on this word: the Word is Jesus.”
After the oath of obedience, the staff, miter, and ring that will accompany Bishop Trudeau during his new ministry were brought forward by his parents, Paul and Melva, and twin brother Michael to be blessed by Archbishop Gomez.
As one of the archdiocese’s six active auxiliary bishops, Bishop Trudeau will oversee the San Pedro pastoral region. He replaces Bishop Oscar Solis, who in 2017 was named Bishop of Salt Lake City.
Auxiliary Bishop Trudeau will be in residence at Saint Pancratius Parish in Lakewood.
Homily — Episcopal Ordination of Msgr. Marc Vincent Trudeau as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles[i]
Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
June 7, 2018
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is such a beautiful day of joy! We give thanks to God today and to Pope Francis for this great gift of a new auxiliary bishop for the family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
My dear Bishop-elect Trudeau, today, through the laying on of hands, you will become a spiritual link in a sacred chain that extends back to our Lord’s founding of his Church in the calling of his twelve apostles.
The Gospel passage today remembers the calling of St. Peter and the first apostles. But what we are doing is also a historic moment in God’s saving plan. Because today we ordain a successor in the line of those apostles.
As we heard in the Gospel, those first apostles did not follow Jesus because he promised them a privileged or an easy life. And no bishop is a prince. Every bishop is an ordinary worker. “A man with a boat,” like Simon Peter in the Gospel.
Bishop-elect Trudeau, today Jesus is calling you, just as he called Peter. He is asking for your “boat,” for your faith, your abilities and gifts.
In calling you to be a bishop, Jesus wants to use your life to help him to teach and to heal and to proclaim the hope of God.
Jesus is asking you today: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” And these are the beautiful words that you have chosen for your episcopal motto.
You have given your life to walk with Jesus. You have been a good priest, with a heart for your people.
But now our Lord is calling you to go deeper, to go where you have never gone before. Deeper in your friendship with him. Deeper in your service to the family of God.
Episcopal ministry would be impossible if it was only about us and our powers. But with God all things are possible. And, I think every bishop here today would say the same thing: Jesus does not leave your side. Ever.
The bishop knows that he is doing the Lord’s work, not his own. If we try to do what he asks of us in every moment, we know he will do the rest.
The bishop is always a man who is walking with Jesus. In our ministry, we are always standing in the same “boat” alongside him.
When Pope Francis spoke to the bishops of the United States in Washington in 2015, he said: “We need to learn from Jesus — or better to learn Jesus, meek and humble; to enter into his meekness by contemplating his way of acting.”
The bishop ministers, as Jesus ministered. Personally. With tenderness and compassion. We need to know our people — what they hope for, what they are anxious about, how we can help them.
We hold a beautiful and simple truth in the Church — that Jesus Christ died and rose for you and for me. This is how much God loves us! And in Jesus, we see God’s beautiful dream for every person. In him, we see the path that leads to happiness in this life and to a love that never ends in eternity.
This is the joy of the bishop! We are privileged to accompany our people on the road to heaven. We go with them — speaking the Word of God to their hearts, nourishing them with the one Bread of Heaven that gives us the “taste of eternity.”
In that beautiful dialogue in today’s Gospel, Simon Peter says to Jesus, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.”
A good bishop is always honest with himself and with God. He recognizes that he is a sinner who needs the Lord — even more than the people he serves.
But the bishop knows — and he proclaims — that we can keep coming back to Jesus. Always. He is never far from us.
Bishop-elect Trudeau, Jesus is sending you out today “into the deep.”
I pray that you will live your new calling with joy and love. Be humble and gentle and patient. In everything you do, try to do as Jesus would do.
The whole family of God, and all the communion of saints and apostles are praying for you in this beautiful moment. I ask our Blessed Mother Mary to stay close to you, to watch over and guide you.
And let’s ask our Blessed Mother, the Queen of the Angels, to pray for all our bishops, that we might always serve our people with love and mercy!