Sacred Heart Cathedral, Gallup, NM
For the past 21 months the Diocese of Gallup has been without a shepherd due to a sudden, serious injury to Bishop Donald Pelotte. After it was clear that he could not make a full enough recovery to continue as Bishop, the Holy Father accepted his resignation and he retired. This left the Diocese which covers a large, geographical area with an estimated 60,000 Catholics floating in a desert sea without a captain for direction. Gratefully, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Thomas Olmsted, of the Diocese of Phoenix as Apostolic Administrator. A Bishop is always busy but this doubled Bishop Olmsted's workload. Faithful to his calling, he was here part of every week, flying from Phoenix to Gallup and back on a private plane.
On Feb. 5, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father James S. Wall, vicar for priest in the Phoenix Diocese as Bishop of Gallup.
Fast forward to the evening of April 22nd. Our small Schola sang Solemn Vespers with Bishop Olmsted, Bishop Elect Wall, many priests from both Dioceses and Bishop Elect Wall's family. It was beautiful and we were so glad to be asked to participate. And I'm pretty sure angels were singing with us because we had never sounded so well!
Father Matthew Keller, the Director of Vocations
for the Gallup Diocese was the cantor.
During Solemn Vespers, Bishop Elect Wall
pledged his Oath of Fidelity,
then signed a printed copy with
Bishop Olmsted witnessing and signing as well.
April 23rd at 2:00 p.m. the procession began for the Ordination of Bishop Elect Wall. Although we were sitting in the back and couldn't see everything, we could hear and the sounds we heard were beautiful. Not only the words from the Apostolic Nuncio, Abp. Pietra Sambi or Cardinal Mahony of California and Bishop Olmsted, but the bells that rang from the bell tower at the moment he was ordained.
We weren't allowed to take pictures during Mass which was fine because there were several professional photographers roaming around and their pictures are better than any I could take. To see pictures of the Ordination you can go here
Photos by Andrew Junker for The Catholic Sun.
You can also still see the video that was shown in several locations in Gallup as well as a live feed on the internet by going here.
So now our Diocese has a Bishop. He's young (44), full of life and ready to do what he was called to do by the Church. God bless him in his work and keep him safe in his many travels.
Bishop James Sean Wall's Episcopal Motto
Translation "Be Doers of the Word"