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Home News and Events Ecclesia Archives: 2006(non-PDF)
Saying goodbye to Archbishop Smith PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 June 2007 15:50
Tears, smiles, hugs and blessings were shared as our diocese bade a fond farewell to Archbishop Richard Smith on Sunday, April 22.

The farewell vespers at St. Columbkille Cathedral began with a hymn of thanksgiving to God.

“I am indeed full of gratitude to God for the gifts he has bestowed upon me over the past five years in the Diocese of Pembroke,” Archbishop Smith told the congregation filling the cathedral’s pews.

He reflected on another evening service at the cathedral, when he was ordained a bishop just a few years earlier.

For Archbishop Smith, the most memorable moment of that formal occasion in the Ottawa Valley was the moment he walked in the door.

“I immediately felt myself surrounded and indeed embraced by a warm welcome and spirit of support,” he recalled.

During his farewell message, Archbishop Smith offered his heartfelt thanks to the priests of the diocese for the support, collaboration and pastoral care they provide. He also commended the parishioners for their missionary hearts, noting the work they do here at home and the support they offer to the missions of the Dominican Republic and Peru.

Speaking on behalf of the laity of the diocese, Yvonne Sklepowicz described Archbishop Smith’s humble and encouraging presence during the November 2006 mission to Peru.

“You have been a people’s bishop,” she said. “You have been a leader by example, an excellent role model. It was evident that you had every intention of walking with the people.”

Mrs. Sklepowicz spoke of the lasting effect Archbishop Smith will have on the Pembroke Diocese.

“You have touched many lives here,” she said. ”Your encounter with us, in our lives, will continue to have an impact on us.”

Father Patrick Tait of St. Columbkille Cathedral echoed those sentiments.

“In the time you have been with us, we have indeed been enriched by your wise words and sterling example,” Father Tait told Archbishop Smith, praising him for his decisive leadership, forthright statements on the issues of the day, and inspiring homilies.

“Our prayers, our gratitude and our best wishes for health, happiness and success accompany you,” he concluded. “You will always have a special place in our hearts. God bless, love and keep you.”

Before he left, Archbishop Smith reminded local parishioners to be thankful for their blessings and to continue to work in the faith.

“The abundance of blessings in this diocese is clearly a sign of the presence of the Lord among his people,” he said, adding, “The goal of the spirit’s work in our hearts is to lead us to ever greater holiness.”

Archbishop Smith was installed as Archbishop of the Diocese of Edmonton, Alberta on May 1, 2007, the eighth bishop of the 136-year-old diocese. People began arriving five hours before the Mass to claim seats in the 1,200-seat basilica and the Mass was attended by 26 bishops and more than 100 priests.







 

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Home News and Events Ecclesia Archives: 2006(non-PDF)