Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Catholics welcome Bishop Amos to Iowa (QCTimes.com)

Bishop Martin Amos knocked on the doors of a Quad-City church, and the people of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport stood to welcome him into their arms during his formal installation ceremony Monday.

Archbishop Jerome Hanus of the Archdiocese of Dubuque officially welcomed Amos through the open doors of St. John Vianney Church, Bettendorf, and bade him be a “loving father, gentle shepherd and wise teacher” to the faithful of the diocese that stretches over 22 counties in southeastern Iowa.

Later, during his homily, the new bishop discussed life’s journey. He spoke of an experience when he became lost during a walk and finally, after some difficulty, found his way back to a monastery.

“Life is like this,” he said, noting that the journey is not made alone but in concert with others and with Christ.

Amos said he will reach out to those who were sexually abused by priests and try to promote healing. He also will work to restore financial health to the diocese, which last month became the fourth one in America to declare bankruptcy.

“I will continue the journey and listen to God’s word on the gentle breeze, move with Jesus and trust the shepherd,” he said.

Amos, who becomes the eighth bishop to be installed in the 125-year history of the Diocese of Davenport, will begin his new job by doing a lot of listening, he said, repeating his intentions to go out and meet the people of the 84-parish diocese.

In his homily, Amos talked about the call he received to move to the Davenport Diocese.

“The nuncio told me what the pope wanted to do to me,” he said, adding that Bishop Franklin assured him he would find that many good people live in this area of the country.

“I was then calm, but that didn’t last,” he said with a laugh.

Image: Kevin E. Schmidt/QUAD-CITY TIMES

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