I’m sure the next issue of the Valley Catholic will contain a personal statement from our Coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantu as we prepare to officially welcome him on September 28th to the Diocese of San Jose. You read the announcement of his appointment in our July 22 parish bulletin. There is other background information on the diocesan website.
A coadjutor bishop is like an auxiliary bishop except that he has the right of succession. When the Ordinary resigns from office or dies, the coadjutor succeeds him (Canon #403.3). Bishop McGrath has made it known to the clergy and some people of the Diocese that he would like to retire, step down from the office of bishop while he is still in good health rather than under other health circumstances. At this point we don’t know when Bishop McGrath will retire but we do know that he was with Bishop Pierre DuMaine for nine months before Bishop DuMaine retired. We ask you for your prayers for him because his health is changing as he grows older and more frail.
As Bishop Patrick said in a video address to the Diocesan staff, Bishop Cantu is one of the youngest bishops in the United States at this time, he will turn 52 in December. I’m sure he will be meeting with the priests of the Diocese in the weeks and months to come. Between visiting the parishes and schools, he will develop a picture our Diocese, its diversity and its challenges, it strengths and its weaknesses. He will see the changes in the church as all dioceses are experiencing changes in our ever changing world.
He will face the challenge of helping parishes evangelize the current generations and look at ways to reach out to those who find themselves outside the church for so many different reasons. We need everyone’s gifts and talents to build up the church, build up the faith community. So, we pray in and through the Holy Spirit for Bishop Cantu, our Bishop Patrick McGrath and the entire local church in the days ahead.
Summer Blessings, Father Larry Hendel