21 September 2014 A.D.
For many years I have not had the luxury of a Bishop who was clear about Catholic Teaching, cared about his flock and had a backbone. I know this may sound a little on the snarky side but Truth is Truth. Finally a few years ago I had an opportunity to move to the great state of Wisconsin.
The reasons I decided to move here were varied but the deciding factor was the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, WI. Not a stranger to criticism from the secular world and of course, Catholics who think they know more than the Church Herself, His Escellency Robert C. Morlino is the type of Bishop all Roman Catholics really need.
I have had the pleasure of meeting our Bishop quite spontaneously on several occasions, and he took the time to have a wonderful conversation with me. He is like an Uncle or a family friend who truly enjoys your company. A great listener, he never acts like he doesn’t have time to speak to the least of us.
The portrayal of this kind and generous man in the press is as if they are speaking about someone else. That is because he will not back down on teaching the Truth as he always does in Charity.
He calls himself a teacher and that is exactly what he has done here in Madison. Madison, Wisconsin probably battles San Francisco as the most progressive city in the country. The wisdom of Holy Mother Church provided, as we have one of the most orthodox Catholic Bishops in the world here, where he is needed most.
The thing I truly love about Bishop Morlino is how he is not afraid to teach us Truth and also how that in itself that IS love. His Jesuit training has not been a source of pride as with many Jesuits I have known, but is the source of his humility. Truly a son of Ignatius of Loyola in the truest sense.
His love of the understanding of aesthetics is what makes him him truly understand the sacredness of beauty in the Church and in particular, the Holy Mass. His love of the Extraordinary Form wrankles those who don’t allow their minds to this understanding.
A bishop like Robert Morlino will be persecuted because he is a man of Truth and of courage. His fearlessness ironically brings out fear in others. There are those whom either don’t believe in God, in Truth or take a simplistic view of God and a democratic notion of what the Church is supposed to do. Moral relativists cringe at the thought of a man, a priest, a bishop like ours. Their only answer is to personally attack.
Here is where Bishop Morlino truly serves God and his flock. He never personally attacks. He never speaks in negatives. He battles on in joy and in love. He is the father some of us wished we have had. He is the type of man, who is a spiritual head of his family, like most wives wished their husbands were. He is the family member we all would be proud to call family. By Our Lord calling him to a priestly vocation, Bishop Morlino can love all of us altruistically and lead us (if we are willing) to our place among the Saints.
This is a vocation fully lived. This is what doing God’s Will means. No excuses, full of joy. Fearless.
Someone once said to me about the priesthood and Religious Life concerning chastity and celibacy this statement,
“You know, all that Catholic celibacy and chastity stuff is not natural.” I said, “You are correct, it isn’t.” Shocked, the person looked at me quizzically and I responded, “It’s supernatural, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s love at its’ truest form, fraternal love. The giving of one life for others.” The person shook their head and walked away.
His Excellency understands what I am saying, for sure.
God love you Your Excellency, on this great day of your Anniversary. Ad Multos Annos!