Friday, August 7, 2009

Goodbye Archbishop Aymond

I ask for all of you to keep our beloved Archbishop Aymond in your prayers as he prepares to leave Austin for New Orleans in a week or so.

On Thursday he came to College Station to celebrate Mass with our part of the diocese one final time. It was wonderful celebration of his time spent shepherding us and we will certainly miss him. He is one of the best bishops I have met. He has all the skills needed to be an effective apostle - good leadership, good preacher, very pastoral, orthodox, good administrator, good with people, connects with his priests closely, emphasizes vocations, good formation, and campus ministry, etc. But, the most important is that he is a disciple of Christ himself. He radiates faith and charity and you can tell where his heart lies - with Jesus Christ and his Church.

New Orleans is blessed to get him and I know he is leaving one of the healthiest dioceses in the USA for one of the more challenging. He oversaw a doubling in the Catholic population of Austin in the last decade (growing twice as fast as the general population of one of the fastest-growing areas in the country), vocations skyrocketing, a very successful financial plan and fundraising, as well as a re-organization of the diocese with an emphasis on adult formation. He has brought in great people as well to help, including some initiatives that haven't even happened yet. For instance:
Eight Dominican Sisters from Ann Arbor, Mich., arrive in the diocese on Aug. 10. They will be housed in two convents and will serve several of our schools. Two of the sisters will work in the diocesan Pastoral Center with diocesan staff to establish their long-term plans for a significant presence and ministry in the diocese. We pray that more sisters from the Ann Arbor mother house will continue to come each year and serve more of our schools.
Archbishop Aymond is also very well-respected amongst his brother bishops for his ability to handle public relations, run with big issues, balance a lot, and as a Bishop who unites different groups and people. Just one example - he was entrusted with implementing the Protecting God's Children plan for the USCCB.

God bless Archbishop Aymond.
May God grant us another holy and good Bishop for Austin.


Deacon Mike said...

I am so glad this is one of my favorite blogs. And as a recently ordained Permanent Deacon who blogs and is in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, it has been a joy to read of your affection for Bishop Gregory. As you know, as a Permanent Deacon, I have a special relationship to the Archbishop. While I have yet to personally meet him, reading about him and his involvement with all of you at College Station has been inspirational.
Our Archdiocese anxiously awaits his arrival as we continue to rebuild not just our infrastructure but our spiritual lives in post-Katrina New Orleans.

I understand our gain is your loss, but I pray for a wonderful new Shepherd for the Austin Diocese. And being from the New Orleans area, you know I have to be an avid LSU Tiger fan. But thanks to this wonderful site; I'll cheer for the Aggies all the time; except if they play LSU.

Gods Blessings, Deacon Mike Talbot

doctorj2u said...

This is a good day for New Orleans. Hughes was a horrible archbishop. He did not understand New Orleans at all and was absent post-Katrina (like most institutional entities) except for closing people's churchs. Archbishop Aymond at the very least understands the city. At this point, as a native New Orleanian, I look at this as a hopeful moment for New Orleans. I hope he can live up to the reputation of retired Archbishop Cannon. It is a very high bar to live up to, but looking at this post, there is hope. Can you tell that "hope" is the theme of this post? Hope can get you a long way.