The Church graciously gives to us so many gifts. Through the Sacraments, through the liturgies, through guided prayer and meditation, we are given powerful moments to grow in our spirituality and we are offered this gift of faith.
But gifts come not only from moments but through people. And the Church has certainly given us a gift in the person of the newly-ordained Bishop Donald Bolen. On March 25, 2010, the Feast of the Annunciation, Bishop Bolen echoed the words of Mary when she said “Let it be done to me according to your word” as he was ordained the seventh Bishop in the Diocese of Saskatoon.
With grace, humility, and faithfulness, Bishop Bolen has taken the step from priest to Bishop. And perhaps without yet knowing the full responsibilities and roles ahead of him – for how can we possibly see what God has in store for us – his first gift to the people of the Church is already apparent. And this is his willingness, in blind faith, to say yes.
At the Ecumenical Prayer Service on the eve of his Ordination, Bishop Bolen stood before a number of Christian leaders and their faithful and humbly asked them to “offer up a prayer for a fellow pilgrim who needs one.” Immediately he stood not as a man set above us but as a fellow servant of God, evermore needing the prayers of his friends as he traveled an unfamiliar road.
Who of us has not felt like this? Uncertain. Fearful. Moving in a direction not because of our great confidence in ourselves but because of our faithful confidence in a God whom we so love. But we need not feel alone because alongside of us are fellow believers, moving step after step, in the direction of Great Love. And included in those travelers is a priest who has now become a bishop.
At the close of his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Bolen was feted by individuals representing various groups of the Church as they spoke words of congratulations and welcome. One individual was Bishop Brian Farrell, from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Bishop Farrell, knowing well the man of whom he spoke, asked us to pray for Bishop Bolen, that “his heart will become who he now is.”
This is the gift we can offer back to the Church in thanksgiving. Let us pray for our Bishops, these fellow pilgrims, that their hearts may grow in faith and love to fulfill the roles God has set before them. Let us not take for granted their leadership, but appreciate them as gifts to us and lift them up in our faithful intentions.
Salt + Light Television offers our warm congratulations to the newly-ordained Bishop Donald Bolen. We have been graced by participating in your Episcopal Ordination and bringing this liturgy to our viewers. We will continue to offer up our prayers for you.
Salt + Light Television will be airing the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Donald Bolen on Wednesday, March 31 at 8pm and midnight ET. You can also order your own DVD copy of the Ordination by visiting our Salt + Light Store.
Photos: Tim Yaworski