Statement of Bishop David A. Zubik on the Appointment of Bishop Paul J. Bradley as Bishop of Kalamazoo
Pope Benedict XVI has honored the Diocese of Pittsburgh by once again selecting one of our sons to serve as bishop of a Diocese. Bishop Paul J. Bradley has been named the new bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
There are times that define the self-contained contradiction of the word “bittersweet.” For me personally – and for so many in the Diocese of Pittsburgh – this is such a moment when great joy intermingles with great sadness.
We celebrate with the faithful of the Diocese of Kalamazoo who will be blessed with Bishop Bradley’s ministry. At the same time, we realize that we are losing an adviser, a leader, a spiritual mentor and a friend who has served the Church of Pittsburgh so well since his ordination as a priest nearly 38 years ago.
When I came back to the Diocese of Pittsburgh from Green Bay, I knew that I would have Bishop Bradley as a co-worker and a friend. In my first press conference and at my Mass of installation, I praised what Bishop Bradley had accomplished in his 15 months as Administrator of the Diocese. I also assured all of you that he would continue at my side, assisting me in administering the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
And so he has, and very clearly with a Shepherd’s heart. Bishop Bradley and I have spent these nearly two years working, praying and ministering together. To know that he will no longer be with me where I can benefit daily from his wisdom, strength, friendship and love for Jesus is the “bitter” part of this moment. I will deeply miss Bishop Bradley, as will the staff of Pastoral Administration and the clergy, religious and laity who have been extraordinarily blessed to have worked with him.
At the same time, we are overwhelmed with the “sweet” knowledge that the Diocese of Kalamazoo and its clergy, Religious and faithful, will have a true Shepherd in Bishop Bradley. As the Holy Father recognizes in this appointment, the Church universal is blessed to have a man of Bishop Bradley’s strength and faith serving in apostolic ministry.
So we share together our bittersweet emotions. While the faithful of the Diocese of Kalamazoo now are “waiting in joyful hope” – Bishop Bradley’s Episcopal motto – we take this moment to express how much we will miss him. But we also take this moment to honor and appreciate Bishop Bradley for all he has done for us and for the Church of Pittsburgh.