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.”