“We’re here for Jesus and I will do whatever he asks me to do, and Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ, and successor of St. Peter, and I will go wherever he wishes me to go, and I will do it joyfully.”
A grateful diaconal bow to my brother Deacon Scott Dodge, who found something a lot of us missed: this story about the bishop of Steubenville who, to the surprise of many, was just named an auxiliary in Detroit.
As Scott noted on Facebook, “We hear way too much about overly critical and defiant bishops — way too much, especially about one in particular. Bishop [Jeffrey] Monforton, who was assigned as Auxiliary Bishop in his native Detroit, thus leaving his position as Ordinary of the Diocese of Steubenville, shows us something better.”
This is an obedient servant of the church.
The Vatican announced Sept. 28 that Monforton, 60, was being transferred out of his post in Steubenville to the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he will serve as an auxiliary bishop under Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Observers saw Monforton’s appointment as somewhat surprising, given that bishops are not typically transferred into roles which theoretically carry less responsibility, as an auxiliary does compared to the chief shepherd of a diocese.
Monforton said Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre, the pope’s envoy in America, called to tell him the news of his new appointment. He said he wasn’t given a reason for the decision, and “didn’t ask” for one. He also noted that he doesn’t worry about the perception that he is moving into more of a supporting role.
“I welcome it. We live in a culture where people talk about climbing the ladder, and for me climbing the ladder is climbing a ladder to eternal life with Jesus Christ, and he gives us different opportunities as well as assignments throughout our lives,” Monforton said.
“From the eyes of the world it may be, ‘Hmm, now he’s a supporting cast,’” he said. “My response is, ‘So what?’ We’re here for Jesus and I will do whatever he asks me to do, and Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ, and successor of St. Peter, and I will go wherever he wishes me to go, and I will do it joyfully.”
Read more. Pray for more clergy like this, please!