Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017
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Toledo gets its new bishop

At 2:32 p.m. today, Bishop Daniel Thomas was formally installed.

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Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, left, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, right, present the crosier to Bishop Daniel E. Thomas during his installation ceremony at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral today.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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Toledo’s newest bishop wasted little time today thanking those in attendance at his more than two-hour installation ceremony.

In his sermon delivered while seated in his cathedra, rather than standing in the pulpit, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas spoke much of St. John Paul II; this is the first feast day for the former pope who was proclaimed a saint earlier this year.

He gave special thanks to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigino, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, and also spoke appreciative words about Bishop Leonard Blair, Toledo's former bishop who is now archbishop of Hartford, Conn., and Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Thomas' former leader in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

PHOTO GALLERY: The installation of Bishop Thomas

And he said the Rev. Charles Ritter, who served as diocesan administrator between the time of Bishop Blair and Bishop Thomas, was "the happiest person in this cathedral" now that a new bishop is in office. He also thanked Father Ritter for "keeping the ship afloat," a reference to Father Ritter's goal from taking over in December.

The bishop's installation ceremony, which began at 2 p.m. and was attended by 1,000 at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral on Collingwood Boulevard, demonstrated much of the ritual and hierarchy of Roman Catholicism. 

At 2:32 pm., Bishop Thomas was formally installed - and sat in a ceremonial chair - indicating the beginning of his tenure as bishop of the Toledo diocese. The ringing of tambourines and a chorus of voices earlier welcomed Bishop Thomas, as hundreds of Catholics from all over arrived for his installation.

"We greet every new bishop," said Jack Craig, a member of Neocatechumenal Communities of Ohio. Mr. Craig traveled with a group from Cleveland to welcome the bishop and met up with others from Ann Arbor and Johnstown, Pa.. to form a singing group of about 30. They also brought gifts for the bishop.

Outside Central Catholic High School, where about two dozen priests and deacons met before being shuttled to the cathedral, members of the clergy were eager to welcome Bishop Thomas.

"It's a happy day," said Mgsr. Marvin Borger, of St. Rose in Perrysburg. "He's a fine man. He's energetic and filled with joy.“

"He's able to lead shoulder to shoulder, very much in the vein in what we see in Pope Francis, seeing himself as someone who's here to do the work with us. It's great news for Toledo,“ said Father Chris Mileski, of St. Wendelin Parish in Fostoria.

Sister Francis Helen Murphy of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Philadelphia, who has served as a nun for 49 years, said she served with bishop when he was newly ordained.

"He's a real blessing on this diocese and the people," she said. "He is like a magnet, he can bring people out of the woodwork. We're sorry to see him go."

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