Project Canterbury

The Second Annual Catholic Congress: Essays and Papers

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 12, 13, 14, 1926

New York: The Catholic Congress Committee, 1926.

Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2011

[40] Message of the Presiding Bishop

MY Dear Mr. Chairman and Brethren in Christ Jesus and His Church: I am here at this Congress with a simple twofold purpose. First, I come with sincere salutation and greeting in the name of the Master, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Him we are constituent members of one body and through Him we are interdependent members of one another.

Secondly, I come with earnest solicitation for your sympathetic consideration of the many inevitable difficulties daily confronting me both personal and official; and also with frank and confident appeal for your loyal co-operation and assistance in my hourly endeavor to discharge with due diligence and discerning discretion the divers duties of my office. And this because the preservation and propagation of human welfare, temporal and eternal, and the accentuation and augmentation of divine glory and power in the Church and among all nations are mutually obligatory upon us.

As a voluntary gathering of constituent members of our Church, I feel you are here with one accord in one place to confer prayerfully and honestly upon matters you deem vital for the welfare of that Church. In all fidelity to the chart of your membership, and with due consideration of the views and recognition of the rights of your fellow members under that chart, you purpose to make a worthy contribution to universal life, sacred and secular, through the medium of historical, age-established faith [40/41] in God and such acceptable worship of Him as might prove for all people a reasonable service.

Who will say such resolve is not laudable if pursued in a spirit of absolute loyalty to continuing voluntarily assumed Church obligations and under the influence and impulse of the constraining love of Christ? Certainly not I, but rather would I say, as say I do, "For such a work in such a way, I wish you Godspeed and pray for you in the name of the Lord."

As the canonically chosen and duly designated administrative head of the affairs temporal of our universal body and of its spiritual concerns, too, in so far as they may be inseparable from kinship with the former, I am convinced it is my duty, and so should be my desire, to establish every possible point of contact with the different agencies and various phases of our legitimate Church life. It seems to me nothing could be more right and so nothing more reasonable—nothing could be more necessary and so nothing more desirable.

Therefore, with this background of definitely, and I believe divinely, determined course of conduct and procedure, I want you, Mr. Chairman, and every member of this Catholic Congress to know that I am grateful for the invitation of your Program Committee and appreciate sincerely the opportunity afforded me to appear in your presence to say "God bless you everyone and make you perfect in all good works."

And, in turn, I ask your prayers, individual and collective, for me that in the present position of life to which I have been divinely called, and to which call I would have been deaf had I dared, I may have the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, the Fellowship of the Holy Ghost, and the confidence, favor and forbearing patience of my brethren.

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