Boston, MA—January 4, 2013 –Cardinal Seán O’Malley ordained Bishop Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D. as an Auxiliary Bishop today in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Bishop Deeley will continue to serve as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.
More than 1,000 people participated in the Ordination Mass, including forty bishops, clergy and religious from across the Archdiocese and the country. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó was in attendance, along with Cardinal William Levada, the retired prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Representing members of the Ecumenical community were His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Church and other representatives of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Local college presidents as well as current and former public officials were also in attendance.
At the conclusion of the ordination, Bishop Deeley offered remarks to the faithful gathered in the Cathedral. Following are excerpts from his remarks:
Bishop Deeley said, “I offer thanks to Almighty God, who has blessed me in life with abundant gifts and called me, by faith, to baptism, and to the sacred priesthood, an honor and grace I have treasured for these forty years. Today I am grateful for this call to the episcopate, to the fullness of the sacrament of priesthood, and to greater service to God’s people.” He thanked Cardinal Seán ”for the leadership you give us, as we move forward in the beautiful work of evangelization.” Bishop Deeley also expressed his fellowship to his brother priests saying, “I am grateful for the priests of Boston who join us today, and to all our priests who daily bring the person of Jesus to the people they serve. I am grateful for the presence of all the other priests, my classmates and friends from different places and different ministries. It is a great ministry we are privileged to share. Please God, there will be young men among us who will come and join us in this joyful work of the Lord.” The full text of the Bishop’s comments follow below.
With the ordination of Bishop Deeley joins Bishop Arthur Kennedy (Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization), Bishop Peter Uglietto (North Region), Bishop John Dooher (South Region), Bishop Robert Hennessey (Central Region), Bishop Walter Edyvean (West Region), Bishop Francis Irwin (retired), Bishop John Boles (retired), and Bishop Emilio S. Allué (retired) as Auxiliary Bishops of Boston.
For information about Bishop Deeley, a copy of the ordination program, photos, explanation of his Coat of Arms, and biographical information is available online at http://www.bostoncatholic.org/DeeleyOrdination.aspx.
Archdiocese of Boston Coverage:
- The CatholicTV Network broadcast the Ordination live on January 4 beginning at 1:30 PM. The live presentation of the ordination was viewed on Comcast Ch. 268 and Verizon FiOS Ch. 296 and will be rebroadcast at 8pm that evening. Coverage will also include an exclusive interview with Bishop-elect Deeley The Ordination Mass may also be viewed online at CatholicTV.com In addition, the event will be the first Ordination of a Bishop to be streamed Live on YouTube beginning at 1:30 pm. Visit: YouTube.com/CatholicTV.
- Catholic radio, WQOM 1060AM, provided live coverage of the ordination from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross from 1:30pm to 5:00pm.
- George Martell from the Catholic Media Group, photo blogged from the Mass. Photographs can be viewed by visiting http://www.flickr.com/photos/bostoncatholic.
- The Pilot will produce a special edition (www.thebostonpilot.com) and will have complete coverage in next week’s edition.
- Additional coverage will be available at http://www.facebook.com/BostonCatholic and http://twitter.com/bostoncatholic.
About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 288 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit
Remarks at conclusion of Episcopal Ordination
4 January 2013 – Cathedral of the Holy Cross – Boston
Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley – Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
Forty years ago, on the day I was ordained to the priesthood, July 14, 1973, it was a very hot day, about 95˚. At the end of the ceremony, done in my home parish, Sacred Heart in Watertown, and, of course, without air conditioning, Cardinal Medeiros, our kindly and saintly Archbishop at the time, told me that he had never done a ceremony in such heat. I guess I get the extremes! We go from one ordination on a hot July day to a wintry blast of air on a cold January day.
My heart is full today. There is so much to take in. I have tried as I was told to listen and to participate in the ceremony. And now, in these brief words, I want to offer a word of thanks.
I offer thanks to Almighty God, who has blessed me in life with abundant gifts and called me, by faith, to baptism, and to the sacred priesthood, an honor and grace I have treasured for these forty years. Today I am grateful for this call to the episcopate, to the fullness of the sacrament of priesthood, and to greater service to God’s people.
I am grateful that I have been able to live out my priesthood within the Church, our Mother and Guide in teaching and a way of life. I thank you, Archbishop Vigano, for your presence here today. You represent for us our holy and dedicated servant, Pope Benedict XVI, the principal of unity who gathers us in the Lord as Church, and shepherds us with a heart which proclaims the love of Jesus Christ with great joy.
I thank as well all the bishops who have come to share this day with us. Cardinal William Levada, I am honored you have come to be with us. You and all the bishops represent something valuable which we know well. The communion of the Church begins with the communion of the bishops in support of one another in fidelity to the Holy Father. I thank you all for your presence. Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Robert Evans have been my co-consecrators with Cardinal Seán. We journeyed to priesthood together in seminary and have celebrated with our other classmates the beginning of this 40th year anniversary. I might single out one other, Bishop Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary of Malta. He is the newest ordained, November 24, 2012, and has come the farthest. Thank you all for your presence.
It is in this great Archdiocese of Boston that I have been privileged to serve as a priest. I thank you, Cardinal Seán, certainly for ordaining me today, and for the meaningful words of your homily, but also for the leadership you give us, as we move forward in the beautiful work of evangelization. I am grateful for the priests of Boston who join us today, and to all our priests who daily bring the person of Jesus to the people they serve. I am grateful for the presence of all the other priests, my classmates and friends from different places and different ministries. It is a great ministry we are privileged to share. Please God, there will be young men among us who will come and join us in this joyful work of the Lord.
Our readings today were proclaimed by two religious women, Sr. Zita Fleming, one of my teachers “a few years ago”. She is of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, whose sisters and schools educated me for life, and Sr. Ella Christian of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, where I was chaplain for 11 wonderful years. Thank you for what you have done for me, for your participation, and the participation of all the religious here today. Your witness of life is a constant reminder to us of our common call to holiness.
Throughout my life my family has been, for me, a tremendous gift and a valued source of companionship. With my beloved parents, who are present with us in spirit, my brothers and I were blessed with a faith-filled home. Though Fr. Kevin and I rejoice in the gift we share as brother priests, our family has expanded with the marriages of my other brothers, and the birth of my niece and nephews, and now a whole new generation of grand nieces and nephews. I am grateful as well today for the extended family which joins us today, cousins from Ireland, California, and many places in between. It would be hard to imagine my life without my family. It continues to be a source of great mutual blessing for all of us. Thank you for your support and your presence.
Thank you to all today who are here, my friends and co-workers, parishioners from the places where I have ministered, and people with whom I have served on committees, boards and organizations, too numerous to mention. Thank you to all who have organized these events, and guided me through this beautiful ceremony. Fr. Jonathan Gaspar has chaired the Committee which did all the work, and Fr. Kevin O’Leary and the Staff of the Cathedral have arranged a beautiful Church for us to celebrate in. Leo Abbot has gathered a beautiful choir to lead us in song. I am grateful to all for the tremendous work that was involved in doing all this in a short time. Thank you!
A few days ago I found on my desk a package of letters from some school children at one of our schools, South Boston Catholic Academy. They were sent to wish me a Merry Christmas and congratulate me on my new job. A number of those letters contained a similar message to that of Maxwell who wrote, “We are praying for you. Please pray for us.” I think that sums it up. That is what we are called to do for one another as Church. Pray for each other. Another unsigned note stated “Working for Jesus must be a plesher”. Well, truth to tell, it is. What you and I must do, in addition to praying for each other is share that pleasure, which we see as the joy we find in Jesus Christ. Pray, then for me, as I do for you, that we might be counted among those “living the truth in love”, helping others, through our lives to come to know Jesus, whose coming among us as a sign of God’s love we celebrate in these days of Christmas.
God bless you all. And thank you.
The Pontifical Insignia of Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley
Fr. Jonathan Gaspar, Director of Divine Worship
The Bishop's Ring that Cardinal Seán will place on Bishop Deeley’s hand is the Cardinal’s personal gift to the new Bishop. With the expert assistance of Mr. Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers, the Cardinal designed a ring that is both unique and filled with historical significance. It goes back to a 16th century image of the Blessed Mother found in Japan. In 16th Century Japan, Catholics were forced to renounce their faith and stomp on medallions (fumie) adorned with the image of Christ and the Blessed Mother. Those who refused were sentenced to death. Despite this atrocity, a small group of Catholics managed to continue to live their religious life in secret until 1865. Cardinal O’Malley was inspired by the strength of their faith and wanted to integrate the image of the fumie into the Bishop’s ring for his first Episcopal Ordination in the Archdiocese of Boston, for Bishops Dooher and Hennessey. Back in December of 2006, he provided Long’s jewelers with this 16th Century artifact, from which Mr. Daniel McEachern etched the top of the ring. Mr. McEachern is head jewelry designer at Long’s Jewelers.
In the liturgical form, the ring represents the loyalty of the bishop towards the Church. In the past, the ring would be given as a sign of respect to mark his official documents and as a symbol of the commitment of the bishop towards his diocese. For more detail about the ring and the fumie visit the website of Long’s Jewelers: http://www.longsjewelers.com/longs-jewelers-recreates-a-piece-of-history
The Mitre is a gift from the rector of the Cathedral, Fr. Kevin O’Leary, which he purchased for the new Bishop at Barbiconi in Rome. This elegant miter is embroidered in gold thread on a standard height silk miter with golden threaded tassels. The mitre represents the bishop's enthusiasm to walk towards the path of sainthood.
The Crozier is a gift from Bishop Deeley’s brothers and their wives. The simple wooden crozier is hand carved in Italy and bears the image of the Paschal Lamb, victorious over death and sin. The crosier reminds us that the bishop is the shepherd taking care of his flock.
The Pectoral Cross around Bishop Deeley’s neck was given to him by Cardinal O’Malley on November 9, 2012, the date on which Monsignor Deeley was named bishop by the Holy Father. The gold pectoral cross was given by Pope Benedict XVI to all the Bishops of the United States during their recent ad limina visit. Cardinal O’Malley received this cross from the Holy Father during his visit in November of 2011. It is a Benedictine cross -- a replica of a 14th century crucifix that hangs in the Benedictine mother-church at Sant'Anselmo in Rome.
The Pontifical Insignia were blessed by Cardinal Sean on Wednesday, January 2 at the Pastoral Center Chapel during the Noon Mass. Bishop Deeley was joined by his colleagues on the staff at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center for this Mass and Blessing.