Statement of Bishop-elect Barry C. Knestout on his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Washington
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 12:28 AM
This announcement brings me a mix of emotions and thoughts: gratitude, joy, fear and trembling, confidence and hope.
First, I am grateful to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI who named me as an auxiliary bishop this day. So also, I thank Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Their kindness and trust in me is humbling.
I am deeply grateful to Archbishop Wuerl, who has seen fit to accept me in such a significant role of service to this local church. His dedication, his wonderful pastoral heart and teaching example are a blessing to all of us. His kindness to me personally is a great blessing. I also thank Bishops Gonzalez and Holley, as well as our previous auxiliaries.
I remember with fondness the kindness and priestly example of many priests, who have inspired me over the years, especially the first pastor with whom I served, Msgr. James Reddy. Most especially with great affection I recall Cardinal Hickey, who ordained me and whom I served as priest secretary for 10 years. His fatherly example and dedicated service to the Church enriched me and my priesthood.
I express thanks for the constant fraternity and kindness of my many brother priests, with whom I have lived and worked and labored in the vineyard. It is a joy to be part of such a dedicated and supportive presbyterate. I also acknowledge all those from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary who were responsible for my priestly formation for which I am deeply grateful.
Allow me also to mention the example of holiness and service of my parents. My father, God rest him, and my mother have always been models of love to our family and love for the church, in a special way expressed in my father's diaconal service. I also give thanks for the support of my brothers and sisters, especially my younger brother Mark who, as you know, is also a priest here in Washington. All my siblings have always been both loving family and true friends.
I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to serve this local church for the past 20 years as a priest. The Lord has been generous to me with his grace. I have served in a variety of pastoral and administrative roles, each one presenting new challenges and new blessings in my priesthood.
In this year when the Holy Father blessed this local Church with his visit to Washington, I pray that my service as a bishop will be an occasion when all will be filled with a greater sense of joy and hope, knowing of the faith that we all share in Christ, our hope.