Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 7, 2007
Sunlight falls on bishop's chair at Smith's installation
New Archbishop greeted warmly in packed basilica
By GLEN ARGAN
- WCR photo by Ramon Gonzalez
A rare sight! The last three archbishops of Edmonton – Joseph MacNeil, Thomas Collins and Richard Smith – pray the Eucharistic Prayer.
He also thanked Msgr. John Hamilton, who had served as archdiocesan administrator during the three months between Archbishop Thomas Collins' departure for Toronto and Smith's taking over on April 18.
With that burden removed, Smith said Hamilton is "the man who probably has the broadest smile of any of us this evening."
It was the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the patron of the Edmonton Archdiocese, the patron of the basilica and the patron of Canada.
"It is a blessed day to begin your episcopal ministry," said Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the apostolic nuncio.
In his homily, Smith contrasted Alberta's energy resources with the energy resource found in the Eucharist where "we encounter the mystery of divine love revealed to the world in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."
This divine love provides "an infrastructure of reconciliation," which is the ground of true communion among peoples and nations, he said.
While God is the primary agent in building this infrastructure, our faith and respect for human dignity are "the raw materials that we bring to the construction."
Just as Alberta's energy resources have called forth labour, so too sacramental "energy" calls us "to work mightily for the spread of the Gospel."
In welcoming Smith to the cathedral at the start of the liturgy, basilica rector Father Adam Lech summed up the spirit of the evening: "With open hearts, with great joy and with profound hope, we welcome you Archbishop Smith as our new shepherd."
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.