Bishop Knestout installed in Richmond

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This story has been updated.

Bishop Barry C. Knestout was installed as the 13th bishop of Richmond Jan. 12 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

He succeeds Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo who was Richmond's bishop from 2004 until his death in August at age 75.

 

Archbishop William E. Lori, as metropolitan of the Baltimore Province, was the installing prelate. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, read the apostolic letter. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde were among the bishops and priests who concelebrated the installation Mass.

Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, presided.

In his opening remarks, Archbishop Lori said it was a great personal joy for him to be there because he and Bishop Knestout worked together when Cardinal James A. Hickey was Archbishop of Washington.

Coincidentally, Bishop Knestout's episcopal motto is "Christ Our Hope," the same motto as Bishop DiLorenzo.

"I embrace a new family, the family of faith of Richmond," Bishop Knestout said during his homily. “I recall with gratitude the life and legacy of Bishop DiLorenzo, a happy memory. I greet my new brothers in the priesthood, the presbyterate of Richmond, the many deacons, consecrated women and men, as well as the many lay women and men of the diocese. New blessings even as I give thanks for the blessings of the past.

"There is a part of me, somewhat like a newly ordained priest — with an abundance of spirit and energy — that wants to give you everything to proclaim to you everything I have received from God and want to share," he added. "But my experience as a priest of almost 30 years tells me — and I know — that I can’t possibly give you everything. I recognize my limits. Only God can satisfy all of our needs and longings."

Bishop Knestout said the prophet’s role is to speak the truth that God utters, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “The church presents the teaching of Christ in every form of proclamation, evangelization, catechesis and instruction by clergy and laity,” he said.

“Christ is both king and shepherd. The shepherd’s role is to lead the sheep to green pastures. Jesus makes very clear that the disciples in exercising authority were to do so, not as the gentiles do, by lording it over others, but to imitate Our Lord and always lead as servants and shepherds.

He said the church’s work in feeding the sheep is carried out in proclaiming the word, celebrating the sacraments and carrying out its many charitable activities.

“I can’t imagine trying to present any other vision for this local church other than what Christ gives to us — that is the grand vision entrusted to my care,” Bishop Knestout said. “Christ’s vision is the foundation of my priesthood and my service to each of you here in the Diocese of Richmond.”

Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, said that since Pope Francis appointed Bishop Knestout to Richmond in early December, he has had several conversations with him to prepare for the 2018 General Assembly session.

“I am so grateful for his keen insights and guidance," said Caruso, who added that it will be a privilege to be guided and led by Bishop Knestout and Bishop Burbidge. “We look forward to carrying out their goals and vision for serving the common good in the public square,” he said.

There are more than 222,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Richmond, or 4 percent of the total population of more than 5 million. It is the nation's eighth oldest Catholic diocese and was established in 1820.

The Diocese of Arlington was established in 1974 by Pope Paul VI.

Bishop Knestout was born in Cheverly, Md., June 11, 1962. He attended Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., where he earned a master of divinity in 1988 and a master of arts in 1989.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington June 24, 1989, and after two appointments as associate pastor at Washington area parishes, he served 10 years (1994-2004) as priest-secretary to Cardinal James A. Hickey, then head of the archdiocese. He was executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry from 2001 to 2003, then priest secretary to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, from 2003 to 2004.

Pope Benedict XVI named him an auxiliary bishop of Washington Nov. 18, 2008.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018