I'm posting early this week! Primarily because the news is out… the Hamilton Diocese has a new Bishop.
It actually all makes sense now why we had to wait so long. Our Bishop Elect is Fr Steve Lowe who has been head of formation at Holy Cross Seminary. I'm guessing that we had to wait for Fr Michael Geilen to come back from Rome to take up his post at the Seminary before Fr Lowe could be released to take on the role of Bishop.
I've never met Fr Lowe but, like everyone else, I've been asking around about him over the past 24 hours and trying to figure out what kind of Bishop he will be. So far I've heard vastly differing opinions. I've heard he's a nice guy but not that tough, but then I've also heard that he doesn't suffer fools. I've heard he's loyal to the Church and her traditions but then I've also heard he's sympathetic to liberals. I've heard he's very academic, but then I've also heard he's a very down-to-earth guy and very pastoral.
I guess we will all soon get to meet him and make up our own minds.
From my perspective, if I could choose three qualities I'd like our new Bishop to have they would be servanthood, strong leadership and charisma. Servanthood because I think, as Bishop, it would become all too easy to focus on administration. To become a paper-pusher. I want a Bishop who "lives amongst us" and who is concerned with the same issues we are. Someone who will inspire us all to serve those around us. Strong leadership, I believe, is essential for this Bishop and has been lacking for some time as poor Bishop Browne at 77 years of age journeyed towards retirement. We need someone who will really lead us and our priests, who will make the difficult calls, who will remind the priests that they vowed obediance to the Bishop and who will assert himself as the person who is at the helm of the ship. And charisma because there's nothing better than truly feeling on board with someone. A Bishop who can give amazing homilies, who can make us think about how we are living and how Christ-like our parishes are, a Bishop we can really believe in.
So, I'm looking for some kind of Pope Francis/Pope John Paul II hybrid. Not a tall order at all.
So, Being Frank community, what do you know about our Bishop Elect? And what three qualities do you think he'll need to lead this Diocese?