Cardinal Dolan served as principal ordaining bishop and celebrant at the Mass of Ordination of Bishops for Bishop Gerardo J. Colacicco and Bishop Edmund J. Whalen Dec. 10 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The principal co-ordaining bishops were Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell of Hartford and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Gerald T. Walsh of New York.
“My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude,” Bishop Colacicco said in his remarks. “I thank God for the gift of life, the gift of faith…”
He thanked the assembled and promised them “a daily remembrance in my grateful prayers. Please pray for me. God bless you and may Our Lady and St. Joseph keep you close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Bishop Colacicco, 64, has served as pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception parish in Millbrook since 2015 and was parish administrator for a year before being appointed pastor.
Bishop Whalen, 61, who has served as vicar for clergy since January, delivered his remarks in multiple languages—English, Spanish, French and Italian. He expressed his gratitude “to almighty God, that he made us a family of faith.”
Bishop Whalen also gave a shout-out to the young men of Msgr. Farrell High School on Staten Island, where he served as principal for nine years, beginning in 2010, and earlier as a faculty member, and is an alumnus. They responded with rousing applause. “Thank you to the men of Farrell,” he said.
The apostolic letters calling the new bishops to episcopal ministry were read by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Two months earlier, on Oct. 10, Archbishop Pierre both had been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese.
Concelebrants included Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; numerous other archbishops, bishops and priests, including Auxiliary Bishops of New York Peter J. Byrne and John J. O’Hara, and Auxiliary Bishops Emeritus of New York Josu Iriondo and Dominick J. Lagonegro.
Cardinal Dolan, in his homily, said, “Thanks be to God for our two new bishops. Thanks be to God for the company of all of you this afternoon,” referencing the congregants in the packed cathedral.
“Thanks be to God for these acres of the Lord’s vineyard that we lovingly call the Archdiocese of New York. Thanks be to God for His Son, Jesus, whose coming we await this Advent. Thanks be to God for His bride, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. And thanks be to God for His Most Holy Mother, Mary.”
The ordination fell on the feast of Our Lady of Loreto, which Pope Francis added to the universal calendar of the Church this year.
“To you, my two new brother bishops, Gerardo and Edmund, I propose that this feast of Our Lady of Loreto offers us significant pointers on the Mystery of the Church and upon the office of bishop,” the cardinal said.
In the Rite of Ordination, the hymn “Come Holy Ghost” was sung during the Invocation of the Holy Spirit. Then, at the Promise of the Elect, Bishop-elect Colacicco and Bishop-elect Whalen were presented to Cardinal Dolan for ordination to the episcopate. After the reading of the apostolic letters by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Pierre, calling the bishops-elect to episcopal ministry, all present expressed their assent through applause.
After the homily, in the Promise of the Elect, the cardinal asked the bishops-elect to declare their resolve to uphold the faith and to discharge their duties with fidelity. In the Litany of Supplication, the bishops-elect laid prostrate in the sanctuary as names of saints of the Church were sung after the cardinal asked that the kindness of Almighty God, in providing for the welfare of the Church, would grant an abundance of grace for those whom He has chosen as bishops.
At the Laying on of Hands and Prayer of Ordination, the cardinal laid his hands on the head of each of the bishops-elect. Then, one after another, the bishops present laid their hands on them, signifying the unity of the Apostolic College.
Cardinal Dolan received copies of the Book of Gospels which were placed, open, above the head of each of the bishops-elect. As successors of the Apostles, they are to continue the apostolic preaching of Jesus. Then, with hands outstretched, Cardinal Dolan prayed the Prayer of Ordination. With the laying on of hands, this prayer effects the ordination of the bishops.
Next was the Anointing of the Head and Handing on of the Book of the Gospels and the Insignia. Cardinal Dolan anointed the heads of Bishop Colacicco and Bishop Whalen with holy chrism, saying, “May God, who made you a sharer of the high priesthood of Christ, Himself pour out upon you the oil of mystical anointing and make you fruitful with an abundance of spiritual blessings.”
He then took the Book of the Gospels, presented it to each of the newly ordained bishops, and said, “Receive the Gospel and preach the Word of God with all patience and sound teaching.”
Then, he placed a ring on the finger of the right hand of the each of the new bishops and said, “Receive this ring, the seal of fidelity: adorned with undefiled faith, preserve unblemished the bride of God, the holy Church.”
Cardinal Dolan placed a miter on the head of Bishop Colacicco and Bishop Whalen and said, “Receive the miter, and may the splendor of holiness shine forth in you, so that when the Chief Shepherd appears you may deserve to receive from Him an unfading crown of glory.”
Lastly, he gave a pastoral staff, or crosier, to each new bishop and said, “Receive the crosier, the sign of your pastoral office: and keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as Bishop to govern the Church of God.”
Cardinal Dolan then led Bishop Colacicco and Bishop Whalen to their places in the sanctuary, the first among the concelebrating bishops. There they received sustained applause from all assembled, those in the pews and in the sanctuary, and appeared overcome with humility. After setting aside their crosiers, the newly ordained bishops received a fraternal embrace from the cardinal and from all bishops present.
They then joined the cardinal in receiving the offertory gifts from the faithful and concelebrated the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
After Holy Communion was distributed and the Prayer After Communion was prayed, Cardinal Dolan said to Bishop Colacicco and Bishop Whalen, “My new brother bishops, behold your people, please, go out and see them and give them your blessing.”
Bishop Colacicco and Bishop Whalen, after taking their miters and crosiers, processed through the cathedral, blessing all who were present, much to the pleasure of the congregation.
The students from Msgr. Farrell High School, who had provided an enthusiastic and energetic presence throughout the liturgy, again cheered loudly for their former principal, Bishop Whalen, who lifted his crosier in acknowledgement, just as he had done earlier with the apostolic letter when processing with it through the cathedral nave alongside Bishop Colacicco.
As the recessional hymn, “O God Beyond All Praising,” was sung, more cheers and applause were extended to the new bishops as they made their way from the sanctuary through the nave of the cathedral.
Music was provided by St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, New York Archdiocesan Festivale Chorale, New York Tenors, violin, harp, and New York Symphonic Brass, trumpet, horn, tuba and timpani.