By GRETCHEN KEISER, Staff Writer | Published January 13, 2005
“In token of our appreciation for all you did to support our expansion efforts, we would like your permission to name our new parish center the Donoghue Center,” Msgr. Tom Kenny, Cathedral rector, announced.
He presented the archbishop with a framed picture of the building, depicting the name on the stone façade.
The parish also established the Archbishop Donoghue Scholarship Fund at Christ the King School with an initial donation of $10,000.
The announcements were followed by a standing ovation for the archbishop.
During the Mass, Archbishop Donoghue preached on the Gospel reading in which Jesus comes to the Jordan River for baptism by John.
It is significant, the archbishop said, that John first questions the propriety of his baptizing Jesus, but Jesus responds, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus was sinless, but he has the power to redeem us, the archbishop said. “The path begins with baptism in the one in whom we are all saved.”
After baptism, Jesus is then revealed at the Jordan River as the Son of God, whose word and life are essential to salvation.
Like John, the Christian response to Jesus must be “He must increase and I must decrease,” Archbishop Donoghue said. “He is the bridegroom and the church is his bride. We listen and we hear the voice of the bridegroom . . . He must increase and we must decrease. It is the only way to follow.”
During a reception following the Mass, the archbishop was greeted by dozens of parishioners while others signed a book leaving him personal messages.
Deacon Lloyd Sutter, senior administrator of the Department of Religious Education and Faith Formation, said his friend Archbishop Donoghue is both a good bishop and a nice man.
“You can be a great bishop and not a nice man. He is a nice man,” he said.
Deacon Sutter said his friendship with the archbishop began when he was asked to serve on a committee for the Eucharistic Renewal 10 years ago. The archbishop said then in committee meetings what a return to eucharistic adoration could mean to the vitality of the archdiocese, Deacon Sutter said, and his words have proven true.
“He said it would increase vocations and it would energize the diocese, and it did.”
The flowering of the Eucharistic Renewal and other fruitful efforts in the archdiocese, like the capital campaign, the archbishop attributes to God’s grace, Deacon Sutter said.
“It’s the grace of God, but it is also him,” Deacon Sutter said. “He is a very quiet, gentle leader.”
A young couple holding a baby waited in the reception line to speak to Archbishop Donoghue. Saying that they were just Cathedral parishioners, they said, “We’re very happy he’s done so much for education, making the church so alive. He’s an excellent leader and very inspirational.”
Peggy Warner, principal of Christ the King School, said she thought the growth in the archdiocese, and the archbishop’s leadership in responding to that growth, was the most significant aspect of his tenure.
“He must feel so good, it must just be the completion of his life’s work,” Warner said, citing the building and opening of new schools, the establishment of endowment support for the schools, and the expansion of parish facilities to meet the demands of the growing Catholic population. “The growth and expansion, it’s unprecedented in this archdiocese.”
Pete Aufdemorte said he went on a pilgrimage to Rome led by the archbishop and finds his homilies relevant and inspirational. The perpetual adoration chapel at the Cathedral is a place he often visits, Aufdemorte said.
“I drive all over metro,” he said. “I’ll stop in there during the workday.”
Joe O’Farrell, who has served on Eucharistic Congress committees, said that the greatest gift given to the archdiocese by Archbishop Donoghue was the establishment of perpetual adoration chapels.
“The gift of bringing perpetual adoration to this parish and to this archdiocese is the greatest gift he could have given to us,” O’Farrell said, “and to the many people I can direct there.”
The chapel of silent prayer before the Eucharist is a place to bring people who are searching for a way to approach God, he observed. It is helpful to those who are searching spiritually.
“That is his gift to us.”