Monday, April 04, 2005

Bishop Foys on the call of the Gospel and John Paul II

Last night, Nicole and I had the opportunity to attend a Memorial Mass for the Holy Father at St. Agnes Church in Ft. Wright, Kentucky. The Chief Celebrant and homilist was Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. I can't remember seeing a member of the episcopacy be moved nearly to tears. Bishop Foys reminded the assembled congregation that it was this very Pope who had called him to the episcopate. He recounted some of his experiences in meeting the Pope, and said that the first time he met the Pope, he doubted he'd ever forget it. He was just a young priest, and his bishop had taken him along to Rome to experience the place. He took him in to meet the Pope, and the Pope said hello, gave him a rosary and a blessing, just like he had done to the many other priests and pilgrims he had met that day. Bishop Foys said that what stuck in his mind, however, was that the next morning, as he and his then-bishop joined the Pope in his private chapel for Mass, the Pope greeted everyone personally. He remembered Roger Foys and many of the others by name, in spite of meeting hundreds of people the day before!

Bishop Foys also said that in his meetings with the Pope as a Bishop, he demonstrated a marked personal concern for the parishes and people of the Diocese of Covington. He said that because of this, he had every reason to belief that the Pope had similar personal concern for all dioceses and all the people in them.

"I saw a woman on one of the interviews on television," Bishop Foys said, "and she kept saying 'the Church just needs to change with the times, the Church just needs to get with the 21st Century.' John Paul II called on us to answer the true call of discipleship. We are called upon to change the world, not to be changed by the world."

Amen! God give us more Bishops like Roger Foys and more Popes like John Paul II.


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