Thursday, July 22, 2010

Archbishop Allen Vigneron celebrates 35 years of priesthood on July 26, 2010

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron leads the holy Rosary at the Helpers of God's Precious Infants
prayer vigil outside of a Detroit abortion clinic on November 21, 2009. 

On Monday, July 26, 2010, Detroit's archbishop, Allen H. Vigneron, will celebrate 35 years of priesthood, with the celebration of Holy Mass.  That's what  he told Al Kresta in an interview on July 20, 2010 (which begins about 2/3 of the way through this audio segment). 

I wanted to make this post so that you could offer prayers for our shepherd on this special occasion. 

It is important to pray for priests, but even moreso, for the men who lead other priests - our bishops.  The mark of the priesthood is ever in the cross-hairs of the Angel of Darkness.  As much as the lay faithful will be placed into temptation, how much more true this is for priests and bishops.  For this reason, we must be vigiliant not in what we we say about them, but how much we pray for them.

Speaking from my Carmelite heart in general about bishops, it is not the critique we often find on the interent of a bishop's job which helps him in anyway, but the faithful on their knees asking God to pour down graces of wisdom, prudence, and holy boldness upon our shepherds. The power of prayer is underestimated.  If it weren't, the few adoration chapels that we have would be opened perpetually and occupied, and more would be established.   We would see more holy hours in parishes for vocations, and for the sanctification of the priesthood.  In other words, we cannot do the job of the bishop, for the bishop, but we can supply the fuel he needs for his job and give to God the job of "maintenance" and "repair" where needed.

When I heard Archbishop Vigneron was coming to Detroit, I predicted we would see a boom in priestly vocations.  I don't think I will be disappointed.  We have another 12 men entering this fall.  We had a similar number last year - somewhat higher if I recall.  He spends time getting to know seminarians and showing them that prayer is the first order of the day. 

When our archbishop got to Oakland, there were some 10 adoration chapels. When he left 6 years later to come to Detroit, there were over 50.  Could Oakland be completely turned around in 6 years with those adoration chapels? It is unlikely that any diocese can be completely turned around in so little time.  However, that is where change begins - with prayer.  We may not see everything turning as fast as we want, in the direction we fully desire.  However, always keep in mind that it didn't get this way overnight. The Israelites got to the Promised Land one step at a time over 40 years.  Even after they got there, turmoil continued among them.  It was generations before enough peace settle over Israel for Solomon's temple to be built.

I know Grotto's pastor was grateful with the special Mass and day Archbishop Vigneron held with the priests of the diocese on the Feast of the Sacred Heart this year, as were the other priests at the parish.  Archbishop Vigneron is a man who is not afraid to wear his Eucharistic and Marian devotion on his sleeve.  In fact, he fosters it personally here in the Archdiocese.

Under Archbishop Vigneron, Detroit saw it's first Corpus Christi procession in over 40 years on his first feast day at the helm, and repeated it again this year.  For that first occasion, he blew the dust off of an old vestment and used it. He is fostering First Friday devotions, and promoted devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

These are foundations and building blocks.  It is with these things that the building  of the "temple" is initiated. It will take many years for it to take visible shape. 

We are emerging from a period of confusion in the Church - one that Archbishop Vigneron briefly acknowledges in his interview with Al.  The  70's were very difficult indeed when he was ordained.  From my perspective, things were still pretty messed up through the 90's.  There are still challenges here in the Archdiocese of Detroit and we will do the most good getting behind our archbishop, rosary in hand, and time before the Blessed Sacrament than with any other activity we can engage in.

His Excellency has a blog which he uses now and then for special occasions. He writes periodically to the blog, then it goes dormant for a time.  I'm am hoping he will eventually start writing to the blog on a weekly or twice monthly basis as one of many ways to use his teaching office.  More and more bishops are doing this as a means to reach a younger demographic population which loves to hear from them online.  Perhaps you could let him know you are interested through the AoD's information email: infodesk (at) aod (dot) org

Since his blog is not running regular, feel free to leave your prayerful comments and well wishes in the combox here. 

Ad multos annos, Archbishop Vigneron!

If you are looking for a place to go on Thursday nights, join us at Assumption Grotto for 7:00pm Mass, followed by the Passio Domini - a holy hour for the sanctification of the priesthood.


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