‘Prayer Initiative’ for New Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Held at Sunday Masses

By Colleen Rowan
The diocesan-wide “prayer initiative” for the appointment of a new bishop for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston was held Feb. 2-3.
With the title “Praying in Hope,” the initiative included Mass for the Election of a Bishop celebrated during regular Masses that weekend and resources for parishioners.
Among the intentions for which the faithful prayed that weekend was for the next bishop of Wheeling-Charleston that he may have a loving heart like the Good Shepherd, zeal in preaching the good news, humility in administering the sacraments, compassion in serving those most in need, and wisdom in teaching the doctrine of the church.
There were also prayers for the leaders of the church who, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will select the new bishop, and may they be filled with wisdom and counsel in discerning the will of God.
In their bulletins, parishioners found a message from the diocese, which stated: “Archbishop Lori has invited us to join him in intentional prayer for the selection of our next bishop. In that spirit, we ask you to consider taking part in our diocesan-wide prayer initiative, ‘Praying in Hope.’ Building on the ways in which folks have already been praying for the future of our diocese, this initiative puts forth a variety of avenues for us to pray for the selection process and for the person who will become our new shepherd. As the central component in the initiative, on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 2-3), Archbishop Lori has given permission to parishes in our diocese to use the Mass for the Election of a Bishop.”
Parish bulletins also featured resources that included Archbishop Lori’s Prayer for a New Bishop, and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Litany of Saint Joseph. There was also a short history of how St. Joseph become patron of the cathedral and the diocese and places were one could find material in helping them to increase there devotion to him.
Also included in the resources were Morning Offering, Family Prayer and Meal Time Prayer; and a Family a Resource for the Appointment of a New Bishop which provided the answers to the questions—Why do we have bishops in the Catholic Church? How is a man chosen to be a bishop? What should we hope for in a bishop? What can our family do to help choose the next bishop and West Virginia?
All of the resources are available on the diocese’s website at www.dwc.org under Formation & Mission.