Okay, I guess I’ve been in St. Blog’s Parish long enough, because I have finally turned into a Fr. Greeley-style Catholic woman with Connections.
(This would be more impressive if I could remember anybody’s name or face. Which is why I have a blog.)
Anyhow, once upon a time, back when my parish was over at St. Albert the Great’s in Kettering, we had a visiting priest who was going to UD and staying in the (freaking huge farmhouse-size) rectory, with all the other priests. This was pretty normal, because lots of priests doing graduate study or post-grad work at UD would stay in the rectory.
What was unusual was that this priest was from Canada, a polyglot, and that he got sent to the Vatican diplomatic service after finishing his studies. (Well, initially he went home to be a pastor, and then they sent him over to the Vatican after about four years.) And we were all saying stuff like, “I bet he’s being fast-tracked. Maybe he’ll be a chancellor someday. Maybe even a bishop.”
And then he became an auxiliary bishop of Montreal in Sept. 2022, after a brief stint as vicar general. (Here’s the Mass of his consecration as a bishop.)
And now he’s suddenly going to be the archbishop of Toronto (aka “Toronto the Good,” if you read Canadian novels).
In fact, he’s going to be something like the sixth-youngest archbishop in the whole Latin/Roman Rite. (The youngest is the archbishop of Mosul, and the youngest cardinal is the prefect of Ulan-Baatar.)
I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember me, or I hope not! But it’s very cool, and I hope he does well in Toronto. If he’s still as enthusiastically on fire for God as he used to be, he will do well for them; and he’s pretty shrewd also, I think. His UD studies were on Mariology, and he founded a Canadian association for Mariology; so I think you can see that he also loves our Blessed Mother.
The main thing is that he’s only 51, which means that (God willing and the creek don’t rise) he’s going to be archbishop of Toronto for at least twenty or thirty years.
The other obvious point is that Canada (or rather, their politicians) have been bought and paid for, by the Chinese and others. There’s also outright hostility toward the Church. It’s a place where they kill people for having mental illnesses, or being old, or being unconscious, and where most Downs Syndrome people are aborted before they have a chance to live.
So yep, not an easy assignment. Please pray for him — Bishop Frank Leo.
(The good news is that he actually served in the Vatican’s Hong Kong mission office while in the diplomatic service, so he’s familiar with CCP junk.)
I’m pretty sure that either EWTN, or the Canadian channel for Catholics, or both, will be televising the installation Mass on March 25, on the Feast of the Annunciation. His archdiocese says they’ll be streaming it.
I look forward to it, because it will be really bizarre to see somebody I know become practically a prince of the church! Ha!
Also… I mentally criticize Pope Francis a lot, and I try not to criticize him publicly. But this pick — this is a good idea, and I want to praise the pope for it.
UPDATE: Do watch that Quebecois Mass at Our Lady Queen of the World. The opening music is lovely! (And that’s nice, because Bishop Leo is a musician, on top of his other accomplishments.) Really good chant schola, too!
It turns out that the now-bishop also served as the secretary of the CCCB (Canadian bishops’ conference) while a monsignor, and also got the non-fun job of being on a committee to help abuse survivors.
An article by somebody from Montreal, who knows him.
2 responses to “Fast Track!!”
SO COOL!!! Praise be to God, Alleluia!
Something like this happened to me just a few years ago; it’s a very strange and humbling experience.
I shall CERTAINLY pray for him. We need HOLY bishops, bishops who WITNESS TO everything “from the Baptism in the Jordan to the Ascension.” See Acts 1 for the detailed requirement. They did not look for suitable degrees or “leadership” (whatever that is) or anything else. No wonder most of the early bishops were martyrs…
By the way I put that smarm-word in quotes because what Christ wants is FOLLOWERS (that’s in John, near the very end).
I give the citations because it’s starting to feel like I must be using a Very Different Reference Book than some others do.