In The OC, "Angels" and Bishops
While this New Year's most consequential installation has already taken place, Stateside Catholicism's 2017 Hat Cycle kicks into gear today in the church's Western anchor of Southern California, as Bishop-elect Tim Freyer is ordained the lone auxiliary of the 1.3 million-member Orange diocese.
A veteran pastor who's served until now as the local clergy chief, the 53 year-old Pope's pick has garnered frequent comparisons to his hyper-relational, nearly omnipresent boss, thus inspiring another new title: the "Mini-Vann." Having led a majority-Hispanic parish of some 7,000 families (read: 25,000 people) for nearly a decade before being called to the diocesan post – and what tends to be every local church's most difficult job, at that – it's much in keeping with Francis' desired identikit for his appointees that Freyer's nonetheless kept his pre-Chancery commitments as a police chaplain and in hospital ministry, holding down the Sunday night shift on the latter so the priests in the trenches can catch a break after the weekend.
On another front, meanwhile – in possibly the most SoCal thing this beat has yet seen in a new bishop – Freyer is ostensibly the first cleric to come to the bench with a work-history in fast food; through high school and into his seminary days, the ordinand held a job at an outpost of the region's famous hot dog mecca... so even for the copious incense of this day, where it counts, the "whiff of the Wienerschnitzel" won't be far from the scene.
Crystal complex (above) now targeted for an early 2019 opening, today's rites at 2pm Pacific (5 ET) will take place at the nearby St Columban's in Garden Grove.
Featuring a bit of a surprise, here's your live/on-demand stream – worship aid likewise to come.
From Trout Country, the trail continues on Thursday to the Premier See of these States, with Mother Baltimore's first dual ordination since 1984, and yet another remarkable moment all around.
For it and all the rest, as always, stay tuned.