US Bishop Change: Portland in Oregon

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to accept the retirement of Archbishop John George Vlazny and to name Archbishop-designate Alexander King Sample as Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, USA.

Archbishop-designate Sample had been serving as Bishop of Marquette, Michigan.

Big loss for Michigan, great gain for Oregon.

+Sample has spoken at our parish several times, and is also a good friend of the EF Mass ( having celebrated orchestral Pontifical High Masses himself)

It would be interesting to see what he does with Oregon Catholic Press.


I have mixed feelings…I am happy to have a more conservative archbishop on one hand. However only 12% of us are Catholic here in Oregon…if he goes in with too heavy of a hand…I fear a decline in that number…it’s going to require a lot of finesse…so we shall see…

If you’re in Portland, go see Holy Rosary Church. It’s ALWAYS packed, even for daily mass. It’s run by very conservative Dominican priests and it’s simply flourishing. Now go look at other Catholic churches in Portland (who I won’t specifically name here). Low attendance, not many people volunteering to help, not many people who understand what it is to be Catholic. Those churches are run by “progressive” Catholics. I think people WANT traditional, especially the younger generation. I agree that if Bishop Sample changes too many things too quickly, people would start leaving but I don’t think he’ll do that. I think the Holy Spirit will guide him in his mission of bringing the churches of Oregon back into communion with the Catholic Church. If you know anything about the Church it’s that everything takes time and nothing is rushed.


Here is Fr Z on the subject

I was at the Mass where he gave this homily. I highly recommend that everyone listen to it :thumbsup:

+Sample has always had a strong interest in liturgical music, so I really think he was appointed to Portland specifically because OCP is based there.

He specifically requested to say Mass at this parish because Fr, Perrone wrote an Orchestral Mass setting for the EF and +Sample wanted to be a part of that.

The music was performed by elements of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and it was simply unbelievable

Nope…in Salem. For daily Mass I go to st. joesephs which is supposed to be more traditional…I however do NOT find it more reverent. I am not talking about changing ligitamite abuses (luckily I do not see any at my home parish) but changing things that are more preference and where the Church has either allowed or remained silent on.

Here’s a clip of a great homily Archbishop Sample gave on celebrating the Mass ad orientam that a friend of mine shared with me. I’m certainly excited for him coming to our archdiocese!

Thank you for sharing that! :thumbsup: I’m so so happy we’re getting a conservative bishop who will help guide the churches of Portland back to true Catholicism. We have too many churches here that support contraception, support same-sex marriage, and turn a blind eye to abortion. Too many churches here focus on the community during Mass and not enough on Our Lord. God bless Bishop Sample and I pray that he is victorious!

I guess I’m blessed…I’ve never heard support of any of those from the priests at the two parishes I go.

Yes…there are people who politically will turn a blind eye to abortion within the parishes…but not because they haven’t heard it was wrong…or what great sacrament we have for healing. That’s why I’m continually praying for conversion…something we all need…daily…no?

Deo gratias!

It was a “cold” time in my life. Not just because of being in the U.P. in January, but also because of my life circumstance. Among this, I include a profound and crushing disappointment in the fragmentation of the Christian community (I’m using this broad term to refer to Catholic, Protestants, and the Orthodox). I’ll spare you the details. However, there were times when I didn’t know whether I was hearing a homily/sermon or a political talk. I didn’t know whether the focus of our attention was to be on the priest/pastor or the Lord God. I grew very, very weary with the use of political terms when referring to religious leaders, parishes, and the teachings of the Church. Just a few examples.

So, it was really odd to find myself in Marquette, MI, let alone in Saint Peter’s Cathedral on January 25, 2006. On this date, Bishop-Designate Alexander K. Sample was being ordained and installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette. Though, never having met him, three impressions immediately filled me.

This was a “man of God.” This was a humble man, who seeks but the glory of God. And, the words of our Lord to Saint Peter “thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Nothing I have seen or heard since has changed these views.

Oh, that the Lord God may continue to bless us with Archbishop-Designate Sample’s ministry (wherever the Lord may call him to) and the raising up of similar such leaders, because “the harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few.”

Here is some perspective from Rocco Palmo, of Whispers in the Loggia

With his move to the “Rose City,” the media-savvy @BishopSample, who turned 52 in November, leaves the home-church for which he was ordained a priest in 1990 to become the nation’s youngest archbishop, besting San Antonio’s Gustavo García-Siller MSpS by a full four years. For purposes of context, the last Stateside metropolitan to be named as young was a certain Timothy Michael Dolan on his appointment to Milwaukee in 2002.

What’s more, however, the trajectory of this appointee’s ascent makes for a watershed moment: for the first time, a US priest raised to the episcopacy by Benedict XVI has been placed in the top rank of the nation’s 33 archbishops.

Home to some 425,000 Catholics – and, so it seems, a high amount of internal polarization over recent years – it bears noting that the Portland church can boast one of the ten largest US seminaries: Mount Angel, the diocesan-run house joined to the Benedictine abbey of the same name, where Vlazny appeared last week to confer the purple on its rector, now Msgr Joseph Betschart.

On another prominent front, the archdiocese is likewise the headquarters of Oregon Catholic Press, the provider of the liturgical and music books used in a plurality of the nation’s 19,000 parishes, all of which bear the imprimatur of Portland’s archbishop.

Palmo notes that Archbishop-elect Sample is a a champion of the “reform of the reform.” which might be jarring to some Catholics in the archdiocese.

:dancing: :extrahappy: :yyeess: :whackadoo: :egyptian:

Here are some pics of +Sample saying the Pontifical High Mass that I attended

What a beautiful ceremony. I hope I get to see the ceremony here in Oregon. Even if I don’t then I’ll look forward to hearing him preach on other occasions.

Wow…just read the article in the Oregonian…and the comments. Looking at all the negative comments…he has an uphill battle.

It says his emphasis will be on catechisis and bring Catholics back home. I hope this is true. Problem is that most of the average Catholics in the pew need an education regarding their own faith…but those are the types that won’t show up for faith formation and don’t really listen to the homilies either…

I would not be surprised if this man were given the scarlet some day

At a press conference, Archbishop-elect Sample gave a sense of the future:

At a press conference Tuesday, Sample, who has been bishop of Marquette, Mich., for seven years, said some people see Oregon as a tough place to be Catholic.

“I see it as fertile ground to plant the seeds of a new evangelization,” he said. The facts that Catholics account for about 14 percent of Oregonians and that almost 24 percent of the state’s population don’t identify as members of a particular church don’t discourage him.

“I want to connect those who are longing in their hearts for spirituality with the one whom I believe is an answer to that longing, Jesus Christ.”

Sample also promised to speak out on moral issues addressed by Catholic Church teaching.

“I won’t look for reasons to grandstand,” he said, “but when something has to be said, I’ll say it.”

“I pledge to do my very best, with the help of God’s grace, to be the shepherd for whom you have been praying,” Sample said, referring to a prayer in English, Spanish and Vietnamese that had been posted on the archdiocesan website.

“The most important thing to know about me is that I’m a believer,” Sample said. He also read a statement in Spanish and directed comments to Vietnamese, Native Americans and other cultural groups, saying they “enriched” the archdiocese with a “splendid diversity.”

Sample, who said he drove through a snow storm as he left Marquette Monday, said he had “roots in the West.” He was born in Kalispell, Mont., and graduated from high school in Las Vegas, Nev.

I agree 100%! I pray he has a plan to reach those Catholics because they truly need spiritual direction.

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