Just hours after Pope Francis named him as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, Bishop-elect Roy Campbell celebrated Mass for the staff of the archdiocese’s administrative offices, alongside Cardinal Donald Wuerl and the two other auxiliary bishops of Washington, Bishop Barry Knestout and Bishop Mario Dorsonville.
Bishop-elect Campbell, the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Largo, Maryland, is a lifelong resident of the Washington area who went to school and worked as a banking official in the nation’s capital before being ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2007.
Cardinal Wuerl opened the March 8 Mass, held at the archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Hyattsville, by congratulating Bishop-elect Campbell, and expressing gratitude to Pope Francis and to God for guiding the new bishop to the role.
“Our archdiocesan Church has been blessed by the Holy Father in so many ways,” said Cardinal Wuerl, the main celebrant at the Mass.
Bishop-elect Campbell gave the homily at the Mass, reflecting on the day’s first reading, in which Jonah travels to Nineveh to warn the people there what will happen if they do not change their ways. After three days, the people of the city had repented and changed their actions.
“The people had hearts open to hear the truth,” Bishop-elect Campbell said. “They were ready to change on the spot and do what the prophet told them.”
Their repentance and openness to the Word of God through Jonah is similar to what people are called to do every day, he said, by putting contrition into action.
“We show [God] the love we have for Him by the love we show one another,” the bishop-elect said.
Just as the people of Nineveh listened to God’s call in their lives, Bishop-elect Campbell said through his appointment as bishop, he is following God’s call to something he never imagined.
“I say ‘yes’ to Him out of obedience and love, and out of wanting to help my fellow pilgrims…so together we can journey toward God,” he said. “…Together as a people of God we will open our hearts, we will change, we will take care of the people around us, and we will allow others to love us, too.”
At the conclusion of the Mass, Cardinal Wuerl presented the bishop-elect with a pectoral cross, which all bishops wear, and thanked Bishop Knestout and Bishop Dorsonville for their continuing work at the archdiocese.
“This Church is blessed with extraordinarily gifted auxiliary bishops,” said Cardinal Wuerl.
Bishop-elect Campbell’s episcopal ordination will take place on April 21.