Nuncio tells newly ordained bishop: Serve rather than rule
He told Bishop Richards that the office and title of bishop is not an honour but a function and that he should serve rather than rule. “The episcopacy is not a promotion. You are called to serve - to serve and remind the world of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Nuncio
“..Listen to your people, Listen to your priests…listen, listen, listen!”Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli made the fervent plea to newly-ordained Bishop Kenneth Richards in a short speech during the Feb 8 Mass of Ordination.
“Sometimes we bishops, we forget to listen. Listen to their advice, try to be close to them, try to be not before them but among them, so that you may support them and you may be supported by them.”
challenged Bishop Richards to “imitate and follow your predecessor” Archbishop Emeritus Donald Reece, “and together with your clergy, with the men and women religious, and the laity, try to do your best to attract and promote new vocations to priesthood and try to have more priests in this diocese.”“Try to be close to the poor, be the voice of the voiceless. Remember that you are a bishop and you are called to be a peacemaker avoiding all kinds of political involvement.” This comment drew applause from the congregation that filled the Holy Family Cathedral at Michael’s Mount, St John’s. “Try to speak loudly and clearly in order to defend the poor and their human rights regardless of religious affiliation.“The Catholic Church is not competing with anybody. We are, and we wish to remain partners - loyal partners - of everybody and we
are called to serve all the people regardless of their religious affiliation.”He invited clergy and laity in the diocese of St John’s-Basseterre to work with Bishop Richards, whom he described earlier as probably “one of the most prepared sons” in the region for the post of bishop after looking at his CV and hearing of his ministry in Jamaica.Apostolic Nuncio Girasoli prayed that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Richards would be able to carry on his pastoral ministry “with faith, hope and joy”. The Nuncio then presented the bishop’s mother with a silver rosary blessed by the Pope, so that she could pray for her son.
He told Bishop Richards that the office and title of bishop is not an honour but a function and that he should serve rather than rule. “The episcopacy is not a promotion. You are called to serve - to serve and remind the world of our Lord Jesus Christ.”