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Installation of the Most Rev. William T. McGrattan

  • Posted by Apostolic Nunciature Canada
  • On June 23, 2014

Address of the Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr Luigi Bonazzi
Peterborough, June 23, 2014

Your Eminence, Cardinal Collins,
My brother bishops,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

It is a great joy for me, as Apostolic Nuncio in Canada, to transmit to all of you who have gathered in this venerable Cathedral Church of St. Peter-in-Chains, the most fraternal greetings, friendship, prayers and blessings of Pope Francis. In fact, Pope Francis has come and has reached you before me, with the “gift” he has made for the Diocese of Peterborough in the person of your new Bishop. For in truth a bishop is a gift of God for the particular church to which he is appointed by the Holy Father. And so it is in a spirit of joy that we offer heartfelt thanks to the Lord for this gift as we celebrate the installation of the 12th bishop of Peterborough in the person of Msgr. William Terrence McGrattan.

The Church of Peterborough, dwelling as it does in the shadow of the great metropolis of Toronto, is unique in that it embraces two diverse regions: one that is increasingly urban and another, largely rural. It includes within its boundaries some of the most beautiful natural landscapes making it one of this country’s most popular tourist destinations. These two realities complement one another and provide unique pastoral opportunities for the Bishop of Peterborough, his clergy, religious and lay faithful. This diocese has a distinguished history while at the same time having overcome its share of challenges and difficulties.

In this context, on behalf of the Holy Father and I am confident that I speak also on behalf of all of you here present, I would like first of all to express deep sentiments of appreciation to Msgr. De Angelis, for the wonderful work he has accomplished these past twelve years. With enthusiasm and pastoral zeal, undeterred by obstacles and difficulties, you set about, dear Bishop De Angelis, in building up and strengthening the Church of Peterborough through important and significant initiatives.

These included the creation of the “Vocation, Evangelization and Youth Office” to foster ministry to youth as well as to encourage vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. In an effort to strengthen communications within the diocese “The Catholic Herald” was published thereby keeping the faithful abreast of the various pastoral activities and initiatives being undertaken by the local church. Given the difficulties and challenges faced by the presbyterate of the Diocese, greater attention was paid to renewing priestly life, discipline and fraternity while also caring in a special way for the needs of elderly priests. Last but not least, with the inspiration and encouragement of Pope Benedict XVI, a new Catholic College under the title of the Sacred Heart was established.

In all these matters and so much more, you have shown yourself, dear Bishop De Angelis, as a wise and prudent steward of the household of God. All these contributions are a precious legacy that will assist the new Bishop immeasurably. I know that Bishop De Angelis would maintain, that much of what has been accomplished was made possible on account of the grace of the Lord and that others within this ecclesial community shared his vision and his dedication. Nevertheless, it requires the right kind of leadership and certain qualities of mind and heart to make these accomplishments possible. In the name of the Holy Father I thank you, Bishop De Angelis and pray that you may be abundantly blessed with the gifts of health and strength in the years that lie ahead. A bishop continues his episcopal ministry even in retirement, albeit in a different venue.

Dear Bishop McGrattan, I thank you for accepting this appointment from the Holy Father. You bring to this office the gifts that have characterized your ministry as Auxiliary Bishop and co-worker with Cardinal Collins in Toronto. Before that, you served as Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary where you brought to bear your administrative skills together with your sound theological education, assisting in the formation of future priests. Now you will bring these same qualities to your ministry as Pastor and Chief Shepherd of the Church of Peterborough. As Pope Francis exhorts you in the Apostolic Letter by which he appoints you Bishop of Peterborough, “may you shepherd the faithful entrusted to you in such a way that they may continue daily to grow especially in charity and likewise remain – ‘securely established in the faith and steadfast and unshaken in the hope of the gospel’ (cf. Col 1:23).

In this month dedicated to the most Sacred Heart, may you be at all times, a Shepherd after the heart of the Lord (cf. Jeremiah 3:15). May Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Peter and all the saints so dear to Canada, intercede on your behalf so that surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses and laying aside whatever hinders, you may run (as the excellent hockey player you have been) with endurance the race that is before you (cf. Hebrews 12:1). May the Lord bless your ministry and bestow upon the people entrusted to your care, his choicest gifts.