Jubilee Ceremony Held for Bishop Clark
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Bishop Matthew Clark was joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, of the Archdiocese of New York, for Clark's jubilee ceremony Sunday. Over one hundred faith communities from the diocese attended the celebration to thank their long-time spiritual leader and friend.
It was a joyous day for those at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
"I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Phenomenal," said Ann Argetsinger of Ithaca.
A time to reaffirm their faith while celebrating Bishop Clark's 50th anniversary in the priesthood.
"Fifty wonderful years," Parishioner Jerry Korn said.
Clark is the second longest standing bishop in the history of the Diocese. Church members say he will be greatly missed.
"A very compassionate individual," explains Argetsinger. "Really tried to put himself in people's shoes."
"I am very peaceful about this transition in my life," says Bishop Matthew Clark. "I do anticipate with some joy more time for prayer, some reading."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York attended the jubilee for Clark.
"I would always find in him a calming influence, never buy denying the problems but staring them right in the eye," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Bishops are required to step down at the age of 75 and Clarke's departure comes just a few months after he hit that milestone. Dolan says his successor will have to lead the diocese through similar social issues the catholic church is facing.
"Immigration, make sure government is on the side of those in need and with the Democrats, a little nuance, the baby in the womb and religious freedom," said Dolan.
While a recent Gallup poll reported 82% of U.S. Catholics say birth control is morally acceptable, 52% said they sympathized with the position of their religious leaders. Those at Sunday's service say they will be doing some soul-searching before November's election.
"I can see Obama's point," says Korn. "Healthcare, his concern for the poor, then you have the abortion issue. I'm mixed."
Dolan says a new bishop will be appointed after establishing what the current needs of the diocese are.
"We need someone who will put aside his agenda for the agenda of the people and what their needs are," Argetsinger says.
A leader, they say, who will follow in Bishop Clark's footsteps.
Bishop Clark will continue to serve the Rochester community through his ministry. Cardinal Dolan says the process of appointing a new bishop will be begin very soon.