Wednesday, March 28, 2007

a new bishop, and a new blogger

A sea of priests and guests, 38 bishops, 3 cardinals, and representatives from Rome with papal decrees descended downtown today, to install George Murry, S.J., PhD, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown.

Bishop Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, attained his PhD in American Cultural History from George Washington University, was Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and then Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands before his new appointment in Northeast Ohio.

The Diocese of Youngstown split off from the Diocese of Cleveland in 1943, and encompasses Mahoning, Stark, Portage, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Ashtabula counties - home to more than 1.2 million people, and more than 240,000 catholics.

St. Columba's Cathedral is actually very modern and is the 4th structure in that location (dating back to 1847), as the previous gothic one was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1954.

The new arms of Bishop Murry are shown below, incorporating many interesting symbols. The green arrowheads represent the Native Americans who once inhabited the Mahoning Valley, the green cross represents the connection to the Diocese of Cleveland, the wavy white bar represents the Mahoning River which flows through the city, and the anvil represents the importance of industry in the community.

How labor is infused into so many aspects of this region is amazing . . .

The entire 2 hour ceremony was broadcast live on the local nbc affiliate, and was actually entertaining, with live play-by-play and color commentary by people back in the studio. You can watch the entire ceremony here, as well as an hour-long interview by local news media with Bishop Murry here.

During the ceremony, Bishop Murry was handed his new crozier, or shepard's staff, by the archbishop of Cincinatti. The staff was outfitted with a strip of steel, to signify his connection to Youngstown. Now that's interesting.

And as he left the altar for the first time to meet some of the people in the audience, the first person he met at the front of the church was Jay Williams - mayor of Youngstown. A nice touch, in the spirit of community.

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And our blogging community in Youngstown is growing as well.

Earlier this afternoon in Rome, a new blog named Youngstown Seminarian was created.

Written by a John Sheridan, who is currently studying in Italy, he hopes his blog will "show how the Catholic Church can be involved and has been involved in the redevelopment [of Youngstown] . . . to examine the history of some of the parishes in the diocese, especially in Youngstown."

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welcome to the city of Youngstown.

welcome to the Youngstown blogosphere.

best wishes to you both.

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