Bishop of the ballroom

Bishop of the ballroom

Speaking of violating the liturgical law, did you hear about the installation Mass for the new bishop of Reno, Randolph Calvo?

It was held in a hotel ballroom. (They don’t have a cathedral in Reno?) The bishop’s chair carried in by women wearing floral wreaths. (I guess local ordinaries may now use the sedia gestatoria, not just the Pope.) The bishop wore a face mike a la Britney Spears. At the high point of the ceremony—the laying on of hands—featured a 10-year-old boy blowing a conch shell.

Oh, and his new coat of arms features the Golden Gate Bridge.

Emblazoned on the bottom of Calvo’s coat of arms is his motto, “Come Creator Spirit.” The phrase comes from an ancient prayer, asking the Holy Ghost to help Calvo lead his flock.

Among Calvo’s personal emblems is a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, representing the San Francisco area where he has spent much of his career. Wavy lines under the bridge partially signify Calvo’s love of the outdoors and water sports. He comes to Reno with the reputation as an avid hiker.

Did I mention that he’s of the Levada-Niederauer orbit?

Makes the stole over the chasuble at Niederauer look like vesting for a Tridentine Mass in comparison.

Speaking of which, can you imagine the cries of “triumphalism” if a traditionalist bishop had his throne carried in during his installation?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
10 comments
  • A conch shell, the symbol of Key West….
    The Golden Gate Bridge, symbol of San Francisco….
    Floral wreaths, an image reminiscent of Hawaii….

    All right, move along, nothing to see here.

  • Neither the use of the ballroom, nor the use of icons from his home bother me much.  I know that Bishop Nickless’ ordination was not in the cathedral, but in a nearby (but larger) church.  Maybe some un-named people would have been less upset about the number of Denverites making the trip for the event if it had been held in the stockyards, with room for everyone! wink  And columbines (Colorado’s state flower) are displayed on his coat-of-arms…

  • Forty years of liturgical madcap menagerie has convinced me that until and unless somebody (and by somebody I specifically mean His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI) directly intervenes, we will continue to have these shows put on by these self-appointed experts, the local “liturgical police,” who enforce only those “rubrics” they find personally pleasing to their liturgical palates.

  • Sure, an ordination Mass could be held in some bigger church, or even an outdoor shrine, if weather permits: but since the point of an installation Mass is to put the bishop in the cathedra, it loses its point somewhat when it’s not held in the cathedral church.

  • When our new bishop is installed next week, the service will be at the Cathedral.  Of course, the Cathedral is far too small for the number of folks who want to attend. 

    He has largely solved the problem by scheduling a novena of Masses in Thanksgiving at those churches around the diocese to which he has a personal connection.  I suspect that far more of us will be able to participate in the celebration under his plan than would have made it to a convention center.

  • ACCKKK!  After reading Dom’s blog forever and finally deciding to bite the bullet and register to comment, I failed to notice that my location as entered for registration doesn’t appear with the comment – making me sound more mysterious than informative.  I am in the Diocese of Nashville. Father David Choby who has been our pastor at St. John Vianney in Gallatin for over 15 years is the Bishop-Elect here.

  • “but since the point of an installation Mass is to put the bishop in the cathedra, it loses its point somewhat when it’s not held in the cathedral church.”

    Well, the point of the Mass IS to put the bishop in the cathedra, which is the chair, which is what was carried in procession at the installation Mass.  Contrary to what has been suggested, the bishop was not carried in the chair.

    It’s with fear and trepidation that I acknowledge here that my parish has mics just like the ones pictured in the pictures from the installation Mass which, if you take the time to investigate, are FAR more discreet than the mics in the unfortunate photograph linked to above. 

    Why does my parish have these mics?  The previous pastor reconfigured the church with the altar and ambo in the middle of the assembly.  Readers, cantors, deacons and presiders must often “scan” the faithful assembled on their left and right.  Even with “left and right” standard mics, speakers often leave the mics’ range.  People had serious trouble hearing the scriptures and prayers of the liturgy.  The small discreet mics resolved that problem easily, along with improved speakers.  These mics are an improvement on the widely used and commonly accepted Lavalier mics that are used in many Catholic sanctuaries.

    Sometimes there is a simple, practical, reasonable, non-defiant explanation for why things happen.

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