Denver's new administrator draws courage from Pope Benedict
Bishop James Conley
Bishop James Conley
By Benjamin Mann
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Bishop James D. Conley, the interim leader of Denver Catholics after the departure of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, says the Pope's words at World Youth Day 2011 have given him confidence in a time of change.

“Three weeks ago, I prayed with more than a million and a half fellow Catholics in a field outside Madrid, led by Pope Benedict XVI,” Bishop Conley recalled in a column for the Sept. 14 edition of the Denver Catholic Register. A thunderstorm descended on the outdoor World Youth Day vigil, prompting the Pope to speak words that Bishop Conley said “might have been spoken directly to the Archdiocese of Denver.”

“'Dear friends,' he told us, 'may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.'”

“His words that night were apropos,” wrote Bishop Conley, who was Archbishop Chaput's auxiliary for three years and became administrator with his departure for Philadelphia. “For 14 years, we have been graced with the fine leadership of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. For many of us, he has been a friend, a pastor, a mentor and a spiritual father.”

Without Archbishop Chaput's leadership, he noted, local Catholics “might be uneasy about the world, the future, or our own weaknesses … We might be anxious about the future of our Church, or wonder what kind of leader we will have.”

But Bishop Conley stressed that believers should focus on the tasks that lie before them, entrusting the future to God.

“The newly Blessed John Henry Newman, reflected once that 'the power of Christianity is in its present,'” Bishop Conley wrote, quoting the English cardinal whose writings have also inspired Pope Benedict XVI. “This is true for us here and now.” 

“Our task is not to wait idly for the appointment of a new archbishop of Denver,” he continued. “Jesus Christ has chosen us to continue the many good things which have already begun in the Archdiocese  … God has called us to use our creativity, and fidelity, and enthusiasm, for the fullness of his Kingdom.”

Bishop Conley also confirmed that “Catholic life in the Archdiocese of Denver is flourishing … and the future looks good,” with its two seminaries preparing a large number of new priests, and new churches slated for construction or consecration.

“This is due in no small part to the pastoral leadership and apostolic zeal of Archbishop Chaput. And for this we are eternally grateful to him and we send him off to Philadelphia with our love, affection and steadfast prayers.”

“I have big shoes to fill,” wrote Bishop Conley, who will take on leadership duties until Pope Benedict appoints a new archbishop. “Please pray for me.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20