CNA Staff, Jul 21, 2020 / 15:52 pm
Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond, Virginia celebrated the 200th anniversary of the diocese with a call to reflect on grace in moments of hardship.
“For our bicentennial, we ask God to grace us with a new birth, a new springtime for all the faithful here in the Diocese of Richmond,” the bishop said in a recent homily.
“As we celebrate 200 years as a diocese amid a crisis and pandemic, we are reminded as bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated, the entire people of God that we are called to be a people always centered on Christ.”
Knestout celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart July 11. The Mass included the ordination of two priests: Anthony Ferguson for the Diocese of Richmond, and Julio Reyes for the Diocese of Zacatecoluca, El Salvador.
The ordinations had been postponed from an earlier date due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Due to ongoing state restrictions limiting church gatherings to 50% of building capacity, the Mass was attended by 230 people, including 44 priests, according to The Catholic Virginian.
During the Mass, the cathedral displayed the relics of St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Neumann, and St. Katharine Drexel. It also displayed a replica of the apostolic brief, a formal papal letter founding the Diocese of Richmond.
In his homily, Knestout reflected on the various hardships the Catholic community in Virginia has faced over the past 200 years, including shortages of priests, insufficient resources, racism and bigotry, and epidemics such as Yellow Fever in 1820 and the Spanish Flu in 1919.