|Most Rev. David D. Kagan|
It was quite a moment, watching a man whom I had known as a fellow teenager, now in the process of becoming a bishop and taking on the pastoral responsibilities of a diocesan church. What came through loud and clear is just how important it is for all of us to pray for all of our diocesan churches and their bishops. Each of those bishops has friends who "knew them when" and I hope that each of those bishops will continue to permit themselves to stay connected to those people who knew them "before the purple." During my days at the USCCB, more than a few bishops shared that it's often very, very difficult for a bishop to receive information he needs to have, while there are many, many people who are willing to tell him what they think he wants to hear. Then again, there are some bishops (fortunately, very, very few) who think that they already know everything they need to know! Still it seems important to me for bishops to retain significant connections with family and friends who will still love them for who they are as human beings (and not simply because of the office they now hold) and who will continue to be honest with them.
So, my old friend, ad multos annos on your ordination and installation as bishop! May God continue to bless you abundantly in your family, friends and new collaborators in the vineyard. I'm sure I speak for all of the surviving members of the Salvatorian Seminary Class of 1967 when I say that we're all proud of you and will pray ardently for you and the Church of Bismarck.
Your old classmate,