Rev. Msgr. Herbert A. Bevard to Be Ordained as Bishop

Aug. 30, 2008 – Much of the U.S. hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church will be in the territory next week for the Episcopal ordination and installation of Rev. Msgr. Herbert A. Bevard as bishop of the diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
Among the visiting clergy will be the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as his ambassador to the U.S. in 2005, as well as two cardinals, nearly 20 bishops and archbishops, and close to 100 priests.
Three of the new bishop's predecessors in the Virgin Islands will be back in the territory for the event: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap; Bishop Elliott Thomas; and Bishop George Murry, S.J.
The Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will preside at the solemn ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas.
Bishop-elect Bevard has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for 36 years. Most recently he was pastor of St. Athanasius Parish. A convert to Catholicism, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1972 and was named chaplain of his Holiness and Episcopal Vicar in 2007. His appointment to the Virgin Islands post was announced in July.
The local diocese had been anxiously awaiting a new bishop since March 2007 when Bishop Murry was transferred from St. Thomas to the diocese of Youngstown, Ohio. Rev. Msgr. Michael Kosak, pastor of St. Ann's Church on St. Croix, has been serving as diocesan administrator in the interim.
With thousands of Catholics in the territory, the diocese had to limit the number of invited guests for the ceremony. Each parish was allotted 10 tickets for members of its congregation. Those selected – generally by lottery – will join local and visiting dignitaries at the installation. The overflow crowd will be able to view the service on television monitors set up in the schoolyard adjacent to the cathedral. Radio and local TV stations are expected to carry the service live. The Mass will be shown on WTJX Channel 12 and EWTN Channel 16.

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