“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
This little verse is a beautiful way to summarize the emotions of my heart. A special “thank you” to Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his confidence in appointing me the seventh Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. I am grateful also to Msgr. Walter Erbì, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC, for arranging his schedule to be with us on the day of my Installation. Thanks also to our Metropolitan Abp. Robert Carlson for his leadership in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and for the privilege of working alongside him for the past five years. Abp. Carlson consecrated me to the Episcopacy and has been my mentor. His example has taught me what it means to be a gentle, loving shepherd to the people of God and words cannot express my deepest gratitude. Add to that my thanks for the talented and faith-filled members of the Curia who have been a constant source of inspiration.