It was a day rich in emotion, history, pageantry and joy, as Brooklyn welcomed Robert Brennan as our 8th bishop.
Here’s how the local news trumpeted the installation Tuesday at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph:
Before the installation, there was quite a crowd of clergy in the co-cathedral’s undercroft — priests and deacons from Brooklyn, Columbus and Rockville Centre and beyond. A pleasant surprise: one of the priests who dropped by to say hello was Bishop Brennan himself, who worked the room and said hello and posed for pictures before the procession began.
And what a procession it was. Hundreds of clergy — including more than 30 bishops (and a couple cardinals).
From The Tablet:
Soon after 2 p.m. on Nov. 30, Bishop Robert Brennan accepted the pastoral staff from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and took a seat in the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, near the altar at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.
At that moment, Bishop Brennan was officially installed as the Eighth Bishop of Brooklyn, succeeding Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who served the diocese for the past 18 years.
“This is home now,” Bishop Brennan said during his homily later in the Mass. “I look forward to living and praying among you and serving you with every ounce of my being.”
…The installation Mass started after the 46 bishops and cardinals in attendance took their places on the altar. There were about 1,200 people in attendance, including about 300 priests, laypersons and other religious leaders in the diocese, and family and friends of Bishop Brennan.
Now officially Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop DiMarzio began the proceedings with a brief greeting. Next, he welcomed Bishop Brennan, saying, “We wish him the best,” and “we pray for him.” Cardinal Dolan followed with brief remarks, thanking Bishop DiMarzio for his years of service and then welcoming Bishop Brennan as a bishop in New York City.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, then took the pulpit to welcome Bishop Brennan to the diocese and highlight his work as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and as the Bishop of Columbus, Ohio…
[Bishop Brennan] anchored his homily with references to St. Andrew, one of Jesus’s apostles, whose Feast Day was Nov. 30. In particular, he highlighted how St. Andrew was a missionary of the faith, and through that example, he thanked the priests and men and women religious for their work.
“Like Andrew, you are out in the community among God’s people, on the front lines of hope,” Bishop Brennan said of priests. “You know the needs and longings. You are involved in the lives of your parishioners, walking with them and sharing their joys and sorrows, hopes and burdens.”
He said of the men and women religious that they “live out the charisms of your community and remind of deeper realities” in a prophetic way.
Bishop Brennan also acknowledged that the Diocese of Brooklyn is “truly” the diocese of immigrants, to say that “together with the joy of the gospel, we are called to be like Andrew and work together to share the good news.”
There was so much to absorb. I couldn’t help but feel something great was happening, and I was in the middle of it. We are part of such a remarkable story, all of us, and it’s a privilege to see it continue. As I said to a friend after, as I was packing up my vestments to go home, “What a day. I love being Catholic.”
Welcome, Bishop Brennan! Ad multos annos!