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Church groups welcome bishop to Toledo

Chorus, musicians, and clergy gather to greet ‘new shepherd’ of city

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Bishops process into Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Roasary Cathedral for the installation ceremony of Toledo's new Bishop, the Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas.

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The ringing of tambourines and a chorus of voices welcomed Bishop Daniel Thomas on Wednesday, as hundreds of Catholics from all over the country arrived for his installation.

“We greet every new bishop,” said Jack Craig, a member of Neocatechumenal Communities of Ohio. “We come here today out of gratitude for his work for the church and out of gratitude for what God has done in our lives to be here.”

RELATED: Daniel Thomas installed as city’s eighth bishop

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, playing guitars, drums, and tambourines. He described his group as “a joyous group of people singing with great, great affection for the new shepherd of Toledo.”

The group sang songs inspired by Scripture. They also brought gifts for the bishop.

Outside Central Catholic High School, where about two dozen priests and deacons met before being shuttled to Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, members of the clergy were eager to welcome Bishop Thomas.

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

“It’s very exciting that the diocese has a new bishop to give us direction,” said Father Chris Mileski of St. Wendelin Catholic Parish in Fostoria.

“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.”

Sister Francis Helen Murphy traveled from Philadelphia to see the installation. She is a member of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Philadelphia, and has served as a nun for 49 years. She said she served with Bishop Thomas when he was a newly ordained priest.

“He’s a real blessing on this diocese and the people,” she said.

“All these years I’ve known him. He is like a magnet, he can bring people out of the woodwork. We’re sorry to see him go.”

Contact Lauren Lindstrom at: llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.

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