Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

What I Have Seen and Heard (August 3, 2006)

Published August 3, 2006

While I was on vacation, I read an article about the people who continue to work even while they are vacationing. The temptations that they succumb to are the cell phone and the laptop computers—I felt condemned!

While I continued to remain in touch with my staff throughout my vacation, I don’t think I was obsessive about it—but please don’t ask any of them their opinion on that matter.

I had a wonderful break and enjoyed the time that I spent with family and friends—both local and distant ones, the opportunity for a slower pace of life, and my time on the golf course (unfortunately, apparently without getting noticeably any better at the game).

I also enjoyed my more casual time at prayer—I hope my spiritual life improved more than my golfing proficiency!

Nonetheless, I’m glad to be back at work and happy for my time away from the ordinary routine.

On Friday of this week, I shall have the honor of installing the new Bishop of Raleigh, Michael F. Burbidge. He hails from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and succeeds a very popular and much-loved Bishop Joseph Gossman. I wish both of them a happy collaboration as Bishop Burbidge begins his service as Shepherd to the people of Raleigh and as Bishop Gossman begins his well-deserved “slower pace” of Episcopal service.

This week will also bring representatives from the African-American Catholic Evangelization Offices from throughout our region to Atlanta for their biennial conference. I welcome them to our Archdiocese and pray that their work here in the area of evangelization will benefit the entire Church not only in our region but throughout the United States. The meeting of the IAACEC (Interregional African-American Catholic Evangelization Conference) will provide an opportunity for people engaged in the Church’s work of evangelization to share their expertise and their experiences as well as to encourage one another in the vital ministry of evangelizing our neighbors and friends. Originally, I was scheduled to celebrate the Eucharist with the participants at the conference and to welcome them personally to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Bishop Burbidge’s installation intervened in my calendar, and so I shall rely upon the gracious hospitality of our local people to extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to the conference participants.

Next Saturday young adults from throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta will gather at Our Lady of Mercy High School for a Jubilee Mass and picnic. How fortunate we are in this local Church to have such a vibrant and active group of young adults who are enthused about their Faith and their love for Christ. Some of the young people in attendance will be preparing to leave for college, and our prayers will certainly accompany them as they either begin their college careers or continue their education at colleges and universities throughout our nation. All young adults are welcome at the Mass and the social which will follow.

Many of our people are enjoying a vacation break, and that is a blessing. It is important to have a change in our routine, a more casual calendar, and a chance to refresh and restore our equilibrium. I am so grateful to the many people who made this vacation time such a blessing for me—my priest friends who are always a source of joy and laughter, my friends and family in Chicago and from Belleville who “keep me honest,” and my new friends here in Atlanta who have found a place in their homes and hearts for the Archbishop.

I am ready to return to work and to be about the tasks that are mine as the Shepherd of this local Church. As I think about it, even when I did use the cell phone or the laptop to keep in touch with the Archdiocese—it was always a happy moment to hear about life at home. It’s good to be back!