The new Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan has published a short essay discussing his joy, enthusiasm, and nervousness in taking his “difficult job.” Saying he aims to be a “happy bishop,” he asked people to pray that God give him the “wisdom and courage” necessary for a faithful archbishop.
“What is a boy from Ballwin, Missouri, doing in the Big Apple?” his essay in the April 15 New York Daily News began.
Saying that Pope Benedict XVI had selected him despite his “weaknesses and limitations,” he said “in obedience to Jesus Christ and His Church I come to New York with joy, with trust, with enthusiasm - and yes, with some nervousness!”
He noted that the Archdiocese of New York has been welcoming people for more than 200 years. “If there is any place that knows how to make a newcomer feel at home, it's New York,” Archbishop Dolan wrote.
Archbishop Dolan asked all New Yorkers to pray for him, particularly requesting that all Catholic families and Catholic schools ask their children to say a Hail Mary for him.
“The prayers of children are powerful indeed, and I need them,” he noted.
The archbishop described his task “to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to encourage all those who will listen to set out on the high adventure of Christian discipleship.”
“I aim to be a happy bishop, sharing joys and laughs with you,” he wrote in the New York Daily News. “So you will see me at the St. Patrick's parade, and at the new Yankee Stadium, and at processions and feast days and barbecues across our almost 400 parishes.
“Being Catholic is not a heavy burden, snuffing the joy out of life; rather our faith in Jesus and His Church gives meaning, purpose and joy to life. I love being a Catholic, I love being a priest, and I fully intend to love being archbishop of New York while loving all of you in the Church in New York.”
He said loving the Church means supporting her “indispensable work” caring for the poor, immigrants, the sick and elderly, the lonely, the unborn and the abandoned. It also means providing places for people to encounter Jesus in the Mass and the Sacraments, and inviting young men to become priests and women to become sisters.
“It means speaking from America's most famous pulpit for justice and peace, for religious liberty and the sanctity of all human life. It means teaching the Catholic faith in season and out of season, as a good shepherd must,” he continued.
Saying the Archdiocese of New York has the mission to proclaim Jesus Christ to a city, a diocese, a country and a world “in need of his saving love,” Archbishop Dolan concluded:
“That's what a boy from Ballwin will be doing in the Big Apple.
“Thanks for taking me in! God bless you.”