Below is a column from today’s NY Daily News, penned by the new Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. Archbishop Dolan is being formally installed in an hour at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Another worthy read is the Archbishop’s homily from yesterday evening’s solemn Vespers… it may show up on this blog shortly.

It’s a blessing to be here: Why I’m proud to lead the wonderful Archdiocese of New York

By Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Wednesday, April 15th 2009, 11:36 AM

What is a boy from Ballwin, Missouri, doing in the Big Apple?

Pope Benedict XVI sent me here, appointing me the new archbishop of New York. Today the formal installation takes place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The Holy Father made his choice, despite my weaknesses and limitations. So in obedience to Jesus Christ and His Church I come to New York with joy, with trust, with enthusiasm – and yes, with some nervousness!

I come with confidence too, both because of New York’s history, and because of the mission that awaits me here.

The Archdiocese of New York has been welcoming people from near and far, from across our country and from around the world, for more than 200 years. If there is any place that knows how to make a newcomer feel at home, it’s New York. So I thank you for your warm welcome. But I need more than just your good wishes and wise counsel. I need your prayers.

Let’s be frank – being archbishop of New York is a difficult job, a blessing and a burden, and far more worthy men have gone before me. So I ask all New Yorkers – Catholics and otherwise – to pray for me, asking God to give me the wisdom and courage I need to be a faithful archbishop. I ask my new Jewish neighbors to pray for me as Passover draws to a close. Catholics have a special responsibility, and I want to make a particular request of all Catholic families and Catholic schools: Please ask your children to say a Hail Mary for me. The prayers of children are powerful indeed, and I need them.

People come to New York for many reasons – it is a world center of culture and commerce, a meeting place and a melting pot. I come here with the same mission I had in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Rome, Washington and all the places where I have served as a priest these last 33 years. My task is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to encourage all those who will listen to set out on the high adventure of Christian discipleship.

I aim to be a happy bishop, sharing joys and laughs with you. So you will see me at the St. Patrick’s parade, and at the new Yankee Stadium, and at processions and feast days and barbecues across our almost 400 parishes. Being Catholic is not a heavy burden, snuffing the joy out of life; rather our faith in Jesus and His Church gives meaning, purpose and joy to life. I love being a Catholic, I love being a priest, and I fully intend to love being archbishop of New York while loving all of you in the Church in New York.

Loving the Church here means supporting her indispensable work caring for the poor, the immigrants, the sick and elderly, the lonely, the unborn and the abandoned. It means working hard for her Catholic schools, in many ways the pride of the archdiocese. It means ensuring that our parishes are places where people encounter the Lord Jesus in the Mass, the sacraments and in an authentically Catholic community. It means inviting more young men to become priests and women to become sisters.

It means speaking from America’s most famous pulpit for justice and peace, for religious liberty and the sanctity of all human life. It means teaching the Catholic faith in season and out of season, as a good shepherd must.

Pope John Paul II used to speak of my predecessors as the archbishops “of the capital of the world.” There is a universal dimension to the Archdiocese of New York. That means that it is truly Catholic – for “catholic” means universal. We have a universal mission – the same mission the archdiocese has lived for two centuries: To proclaim Jesus Christ to a city, a diocese, a country and a world in need of His saving love.

My mission is to remind New Yorkers that they must welcome God to this “capital of the world” as warmly as they have welcomed so many others.

That’s what a boy from Ballwin will be doing in the Big Apple.

Thanks for taking me in! God bless you.

Dolan is the 10th archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York.

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