Newly ordained Boston bishops to look out for ‘the lost sheep’

Bishops Robert Reed and Mark O’Connell were ordained at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston

Two new priests were advised to “have a special love for the lost sheep” when ordained in Boston last week.

The ordination of Robert Reed and Mark O’Connell as auxiliary bishops took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Wednesday.

Noting that the ceremonies took place during the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, Cardinal Sean O’Malley said that lost sheep were Jesus’ priority.

After the ceremony, the newly ordained bishops received the symbols of their office — the ring, miter and crozier — after which the bishops present welcomed Bishops Reed and O’Connell with the sign of peace, the fraternal kiss.

After the Mass, the new bishops processed through the cathedral to loud applause, blessing members of the congregation before each offered remarks.

“This is a moment for the church and you, we are the church, despite any mistakes we might have made, despite mistakes the church has made, we’re all sinners,” said Bishop Reed, 57.

“But, we’re loved by God without question. And Jesus proved that when he died on that holy cross, and he’s alive, he’s here with us right now. Because of his tremendous mercy, we all have the chance, the hope of going to heaven,” Bishop Reed said.

Bishop O’Connell, 52, also drew particular attention to the women religious in attendance by asking them to stand.

He recalled that when he was a “new seminarian,” he discovered a 1970s-era church banner made of burlap with containing the words “Make me an instrument of your peace.” He said that since then, those words have been the “prayer of my priesthood.”

Afterward, Bishop O’Connell’s mother, Margaret O’Connell, told The Pilot, newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese, that it was hard to express the many emotions she was feeling.

“I’m just overflowing,” she said.

His aunt, Dominican Sister Jean Delaney, was seated next to Margaret O’Connell. She said that Bishop O’Connell is “always there for us.”

“He’s not Bishop Mark, he’s my Mark, always has been,” she said.


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