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Bishop-elect Rodriguez shows humility, gratitude at solemn vespers

At a solemn vespers service on the eve Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez’s episcopal ordination, the new auxiliary bishop of Denver was welcomed by the community he is to be consecrated to serve.

The vespers service was Nov. 3 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Northglenn and was packed with various laypeople, clergy and members of the local community. The episcopal insignia of Bishop-elect Rodriguez, including the staff, ring and miter, were blessed by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila.

In his homily, Bishop-elect Rodriguez spoke of his vocation and his gratitude for his ordination to the episcopal office.

“How much I would have wanted to offer a holier man for the office. I feel totally embarrassed for such a display of love and appreciation; honestly, I don’t deserve it,” the new bishop told the congregation. “I don’t deserve such trust and love. But what make sit possible to stand in that state of embarrassed dignity that puts together both strings, embarrassment and dignity, is, as Pope Francis said, the beating of the Father’s heart. That makes it possible for me to be here.”

NORTHGLENN, CO - OCTOBER 3: Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila blesses the pastoral staff, ring and miter during Solemn Vespers on the Eve of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Jorge Rodriguez at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on November 3, 2016, in Northglenn, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila blesses the pastoral staff, ring and miter during Solemn Vespers on the Eve of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Jorge Rodriguez at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Nov. 3. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Bishop-elect Rodriguez also emphasized the importance of mercy in his own ministry and expressed his desire to always keep it at the heart of his service as a bishop to the faithful of Denver.

“It is my wish and purpose to serve the ministry of mercy. I was appointed bishop by a pope who has made mercy his proverb. I was appointed in the year of mercy,” he explained to the congregation. “I think this to be a message from heaven to me.”

“I am nothing else than the fruit of [the Lord’s] mercy towards me, and cannot help but become a vessel of mercy for my brothers and sisters.”

As is tradition with solemn vespers on the eve of a new bishop’s ordination, ecumenical leaders and civic leaders were invited to extend their well wishes to the new bishop. Those in attendance included Father Ambrose Omayas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Denver, Metropolitan Alexandros of the Eastern Orthodox Church of America, Elder Thomas T. Priday of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Colorado State Representative JoAnn Windholz.

Please accept my fraternal greetings to you on your episcopal ordination as bishop of Azura and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver on this historic day,” Father Omayas told Bishop-elect Rodriguez. “May the presence of the Holy Spirit be with you and your high episcopal responsibilities as you serve the people of the Church in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Aaron Lambert
Aaron is the Managing Editor for the Denver Catholic.
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