Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


AIB Carries Mass Live With Priest Commentator

By STEPHEN O'KANE, Staff Writer | Published October 1, 2009

Tucked away in a confessional where conversations are never broadcast, Father Paul Berny, pastor of Prince of Peace Church in Flowery Branch, provided live commentary for the episcopal ordination.

Sitting with Angela Rice, director of production for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, which provided a live feed of the event for attendees seated in Christ the King Cathedral parish hall and Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Father Berny highlighted certain portions of the ordination Mass by introducing participants and giving insight into some of the rituals and traditions. The Mass was also streaming online.

The priest was asked by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to work hand-in-hand with AIB on the ordination day, to explain certain parts of the Mass for those who are not familiar with the rite of ordination for a bishop.

“At the ordination of priests, deacons and bishops, the candidates are all asked about their understanding of the office and their willingness to accept responsibility,” Father Berny explained during the promise of the elect, where the candidate responds to questions asked by the ordaining bishop. “It is an even more detailed examination of one who is to be ordained a bishop.”

Both Rice and Father Berny were careful not to speak during the most reverent parts of the Mass, but quietly added brief exchanges when they felt it was helpful.

“The archbishop will now place the Book of the Gospels on top of the bishop-elect’s head and then it will be held over his head by the two deacons,” said Father Berny, describing one portion of the rite.

“And this symbolizes,” questioned Rice, as Deacons Dennis Dorner and Mario Lopez held the liturgical book.

“The overshadowing of God’s word and the responsibility to carry God’s word as a teacher,” Father Berny responded.

The priest also spoke with AIB on camera before and after the Mass, highlighting the importance of the day.

Rice said witnessing and broadcasting the liturgy impacted the AIB team.

“Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters is proud and honored to have the opportunity of sharing this historic and sacred event with local, national and international viewers,” she wrote afterward. “The entire staff of AIB was aware of the significance of this event and the role we played in covering it.”

“Although I am not Catholic I was moved and touched by being a part of a ceremony that held so much richness and meaning,” Rice said. “It will be recorded forever in my book of memories. The ceremony really attests to the magnitude of what it means to serve God and man in this way. It was a reverent moment filled with grace and love. Historic beyond measure.”

AIB received some 50 requests for the DVD recording of the event during the broadcast. Those who were unable to view the live broadcast will have the chance to watch an encore presentation on Friday, Oct. 2, beginning at 9 p.m. on the AIB network.

AIB is carried on Comcast channel 5 and Charter Cable channel 22 in Smyrna and Roswell. The three-DVD set of the vespers service, ordination Mass and interview with Archbishop Grnegory and Bishop Zarama can be ordered at The cost is $17.95.