Washington D.C., Jun 8, 2016 / 02:02 am
Deep in the heart of Texas, a campus chaplain is busy making his final spiritual and practical preparations for becoming a bishop.
However, unlike many of his soon-to-be brother-bishops, Fr. David Konderla is carving his very own staff – or crosier – to signify his new position and duty as a teacher and head of a diocese.
“Every Jedi has not completed his training until he’s made his own light saber that he uses to fight evil with – so this is my light saber,” Bishop-elect David Konderla told CNA in an interview.
On June 29, Fr. David Konderla will be ordained and installed as the Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently, the Bishop-elect serves as the Director of Campus Ministry for St. Mary’s Catholic Center, the campus chaplaincy for Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
A crosier is a hooked staff – based on the shape of a shepherd's staff – carried by bishops in the Catholic Church to symbolize their pastoral function in the Church. Other important symbols of a bishop’s position are the pectoral cross worn on a bishop’s chest, the mitre- or hat, and the episcopal ring.
“Of course it was natural when I found out I was going to be made a bishop that I would want to make my own myself,” Fr. Konderla said.
He noted that he's already made four crosiers in the past for his soon-to-be brother bishops: Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Bishop George Sheltz, Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas; Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo; and Bishop Daniel Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop of Austin, Texas.
Bishop-elect Konderla’s own crosier will be the fifth he'll construct.