By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published April 30, 2020
ATLANTA—Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., will become the new spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Atlanta on Wednesday, May 6.
Catholics are invited to join online in keeping with efforts to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The celebration begins with a vespers service on Tuesday, May 5, at 7 p.m. The event will be available on the Archdiocese of Atlanta livestream account, livestream.com/archatl/hartmayer.
The Mass of Installation will be Wednesday, May 6, at 12:30 p.m. Viewers can watch live on the Atlanta Archdiocese livestream account, or on television on EWTN or The Catholic Television Network.
Both events will be at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta and available to watch on The Georgia Bulletin and Archdiocese of Atlanta Facebook pages.
“A joy-filled public celebration of his installation will be held at an appropriate time,” said Bishop Joel M. Konzen, SM, diocesan administrator for the Atlanta Archdiocese until the installation. Details will be released at a later date, he said.
Pope Francis named Archbishop Hartmayer as the new archbishop on March 5 to succeed Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who was appointed to serve in the Archdiocese of Washington.
A Conventual Franciscan, Archbishop Hartmayer had served as Bishop of Savannah since 2011. Prior to his ministry in Savannah, the archbishop was pastor of St. Philip Benizi Church, Jonesboro, and St. John Vianney, Lithia Springs, and a longtime Catholic educator.
“Planning for Archbishop Hartmayer’s installation in the midst of this pandemic has been surprisingly smooth,” said Deacon Dennis Dorner, chancellor of the Atlanta Archdiocese and coordinator of the installation committee. “There are fewer moving parts outside of the actual vespers and Mass.”
Both the Chancery staff who are involved and staff at the Cathedral of Christ the King have been great to work with, he said.
The installation committee has made adjustments to the celebration since the COVID-19 pandemic. The apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, will not be present for the Installation Mass due to travel restrictions. Instead, a video of him will play, reading the papal bull announcing Archbishop Hartmayer as the seventh archbishop of Atlanta. There will be 10 people in the sanctuary and another 10 in the nave. Instead of a large choir, there will be an organist and cantors.
“Because of the regulations in place due to shelter at home and social distancing, the cameras will be remote controlled, and we won’t have a large in-person production team but just a couple people to make sure everything is broadcast the best way possible so people can enjoy the celebration as best they can,” said Allen Kinzly, multimedia specialist for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
Kinzly is also working with JJA Project Management, the production company used for the annual Eucharistic Congress.
“I enjoy and am blessed that I am able to bring the Mass to the faithful who are not able to attend in person during these unique times,” said Kinzly.
These arrangements have been made to stay in compliance with the ongoing strategy of social distancing, said Deacon Dorner.
“All of this is being done so that in some way the people of the Archdiocese of Atlanta can feel they are a part of this long-awaited celebration of our new shepherd,” he said.