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NOTE: The following are the remarks prepared by The Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop-elect of Metuchen, for the Evening Prayer and Blessing of Pontifical Insignia May 2.
Praised be Jesus Christ! Boy, it’s good to be here, and it’s good to be home!
There will be more thanks tomorrow, but I would be remiss not to offer a brief word of thanks to all those who made this evening’s prayer so moving as we gathered for this moment of welcome and blessing.
Thank you to the many representatives of the Diocese of Metuchen and local community, who were introduced by our chancellor, Lori Abanese. I am grateful for your presence and very much look forward to worshipping and ministering with you here in Metuchen.
To Bishop Bootkoski, thank you for your warm welcome and many kindnesses over these days and weeks. I look forward to learning from you in these years ahead. Thank you to all the members of our Cathedral Parish community, our rector, Monsignor Zamorski, the Cathedral parish staff as well as the ushers, sacristans and altar servers, the Cathedral choir members and musicians and the Immaculata High School Chamber Choir: I look forward to praying often with you in this beautiful Church. Thanks also to the masters of ceremonies and the diocesan worship office for all their good work in preparing for this evening.
A word of thanks to two priest mentors who assisted this evening in this litrugy: to His Eminence, Cardinal O'Brien, who served as my rector in Rome, I am so grateful that you would be here and bless the bishop’s insignia I will receive tomorrow.
And to Bishop DiMarzio for preaching this evening for us. I lived with and worked with Bishop during his whole tenure as Bishop of Camden, so I’m grateful Bishop, that you would have a special place in these liturgies.
I would also like to thank all the Cardinals and Bishops who have joined us; you truly honor us by your presence and we are grateful for your joining us in prayer this evening and tomorrow too. To Archbishop Vigano in particular, the Pope Francis’ representative in the United States, you have been a blessing to our country, so thank you for your years of service in this our beloved homeland, and for your many kindnesses to me over these years too.
To all who are gathered here tonight, thank you for your presence, but especially for your prayers which are both appreciated and needed.
Everyone is invited over to the CYO hall for a reception after Evening Prayer concludes. Thank you again and God bless you.