Bishop-elect Lucia greets well-wishers following Mass. (Photos courtesy the North Country Catholic)
By Darcy Fargo | Editor of the North Country Catholic
OGDENSBURG — In a crowded St. Mary’s Cathedral on a hot July day, Bishop-elect Douglas J. Lucia reflected on prayer as he delivered the homily at a Farewell Mass held in his honor.
“This Sunday’s Gospel is a continuation of last Sunday’s Gospel, where Jesus tells us that Mary had ‘chosen the better part’ of taking time out with him, with God,” Bishop-elect Lucia said at the July 27 Mass, reflecting on the recounting of the story of the sisters, Martha and Mary. “Is that not our definition of prayer? Taking time, making time for God? Consequently, the disciples follow up last week with a request this week that is a natural one: Lord, teach us to pray.”
The bishop-elect noted the apostles were asking the Lord what their prayers should “look like.”
“I have to admit, since May 27, when I received the call from the papal nuncio about my new assignment, my prayer life has been all over the place,” he said.
Bishop-elect Lucia also reflected on the last line of the Gospel, in which we are reminded of “the fruit of our asking, seeking, and knocking in prayer.”
“It’s the gift of God with us always, wherever we are on life’s journey,” he said. “For me, that is the most important gift I can receive at this time of transition, of new responsibilities. It’s also my prayer for Bishop (Terry R.) LaValley, my brother priests, deacons, and each of you: that you will know the presence of God, who can put things together.”
“Thank you for everything over the last 30 years,” he concluded. “Let us hold each other in prayer. Amen.”
At the conclusion of the Farewell Mass, Father Joseph A. Morgan, diocesan vicar general and rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, presented the bishop-elect with two gifts — a rosary and a zucchetto, both in bright orange colors that represent Syracuse University.
Bishop Terry R. LaValley also thanked the bishop-elect for his service to the Diocese of Ogdensburg.
“For over 30 years, Father Lucia has given 200 percent of himself to the diocese and to the folks he calls parishioners and friends,” Bishop LaValley said. “I’m here to attest to his faithfulness and sacrifice for you.”
Darcy Fargo is the Communications Director for the Diocese of Ogdensburg and the editor of the North Country Catholic. This story and the accompanying photos appear here courtesy of the NCC.