Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ordination/Installation of Bishop Paul D. Etienne...Day 3

December 9, 2009...the day finally arrived! The Etienne Family woke up early on Paul's Ordination day. We drank coffee, ate breakfast and prepared for the long day ahead of us. Many of us had to go to the Civic Center for an early morning practice. I was so impressed with how calm and peaceful everyone was. There was no outer anxiety whatsoever. The practice lasted less than an hour.

After the practice we met at 11:00 for a brunch with family and friends. It was great seeing so many people from New Albany, Tell City, family, priests, bishops and a cardinal. I also met new friends from the State of Wyoming. Once again we were greeted with hospitality and love. After the brunch everyone headed to the Civic Center.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement and anticipation. I was happy to have a few minutes with my friend to chat about everything that had happened up to this point. Finally it was time to return to our seats. The ceremony began promptly at 2:00...4:00 Indy time.

The procession began! Monks, seminarians, deacons, priests, bishops and Cardinal Mahony processed in. The choir was singing and our hearts were pounding with many different emotions. The ceremony had begun!

The first few minutes I was slightly distracted because I knew soon I was going to walk up on the stage and read the First Reading. I had only read the reading once...earlier at the practice. I was nervous. My brother, Bernie, told me a day earlier that I sounded like a teacher reading to her 1st graders when I read for a mass we had at Paul's residence. I didn't have time to read the reading aloud so I was concerned that I would sound more like a teacher instead of one proclaiming the Good News to God's people! Once my task was over I was much more relaxed and was able to totally enter into the ceremony.

When it came time to anoint Paul I no longer felt like I was in a Civic Center...I felt like I was in the House of God. Archbishop Chaput did the Ordination. My first rounds of tears happened while my brother was prostrate on the floor and the choir sang my favorite version of the Litany of Saints. I envisioned every Saint and Angel hovering over my brother blessing him with all that he was asking for during this time of prayer for him.

Soon it was time for the anointing. Archbishop Chaput poured the Chrism on Paul's head and blessed him. Scripture was placed above his head and the Holy Spirit was once again called upon to enlighten Paul as he promised to carry out the mission of the Apostles in spreading the Good News.
Paul was given a Bishop's ring, miter and crosier. The Papal Bull was read by Archbishop Sambi. He was lead to the Bishop's chair and sat down. My brother...was now a bishop!

Bishop Paul made his rounds around the Civic Center blessing everyone. Each section of the center exploded in applause as he blessed them...another moment of tears. After the blessing he proceeded to say mass. I was amazed that he was able to say mass after such an emotional experience. Another touching moment was when my nieces and nephew carried up the gifts. Paul had a huge smile on his face as he received the gifts.

After Communion was distributed Bishop Paul addressed the congregation. He wanted to thank everyone who had made this day possible. He started by recognizing my parents. Mom and Dad did the entire congregation at the Civic Center! Mom and Dad were given a standing ovation...the third time my tears fell freely! I was so proud to be a part of the Etienne Family.

After the Ordination and Installation our third and final banquet was held. I spent most of the evening talking to friends, family and new friends from Wyoming. It had been an amazing experience. One I'll never forget. Day three came to an end...


Anonymous said...

I have goosebumps on top of goosebumps! Thank you for allowing the rest of us to live vicariously through your experience! What a beautiful encounter with Christ for your family and our church! G

Anonymous said...

Tears came to my eyes while reading this 3rd day. I am so blessed to be a special part of this experience and of your lives. God bless all of you. M

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, glorious event. We only wish we could have experienced such an event in person. When Father Paul said mass at OLPH in November, I had goosebumps, I cannot imagine what it was like in person.

-Linda Sparks Christiansen, OLPH member, (and an avid reader of your blog).