From Bishop Ferd:
Only in the Kingdom!! There is no one way to describe the first year of being a bishop in the Catholic Church. One would think that I tell people things to do, but I can honestly say I have been told more things to do. I have spoken to all kinds of God's children from 5 to 103 years of age, the rich and the poor, and, the privileged and the marginalized. I have spoken as an advocate for life from womb to tomb, specifically aware that Black Lives Matters and always conscious of the universal church that we are.
I have to confess that my Franciscan charism has been put to the test – being peacemaker, penitent, and itinerant. As peacemaker, I have assisted pastors and church officials in pastoral conflicts. As penitent, I had to preach and model mercy and forgiveness, putting others’ needs before my own. As itinerant, I proclaim the Gospel values of Jesus Christ reflected in faith and action for the needy in our midst. I have lots to learn as I struggle with the politics and pressures of leadership.
I have a good mentor in Archbishop Gregory Aymond and my wonderful Chancery staff. I have been touched by the hospitality and spirit of the people of New Orleans, not to mention the food. I do miss the fellowship of my Franciscan brothers who I pray for all the time. I am really growing in my ministry as bishop, challenged by all that makes the Catholic Church a beacon of hope in these times. Truly, there is never a dull moment; always something new in the kingdom.
Peace and All Good,
This originally appeared in the April 5, 2016 issue of Around the Province.