Thank you all for assembling here this morning for a most important and truly historic event for Catholics in South Carolina – the announcement of the appointment of the new Bishop of Charleston, the Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, now the 12th Bishop of Charleston. Thanks be to God!
The Church of Charleston welcomes you, Bishop Baker, as a gift from God, elegantly wrapped with many spiritual graces and natural gifts – and all for us. We thank God and our Holy Father for you, and we are so very grateful to you for being willing to come among us as our shepherd and friend.
Bishop Baker, we pledge to you from this moment onward our love and loyalty, our friendship and prayers, and our support and obedience. We are blessed to call you our Bishop.
Today, Bishop Baker, I hand on to you the keys of the Church of Charleston. You will be blessed to be the Bishop of Charleston in its clergy, in those vowed to consecrated life, and in its devoted and ever-increasing laity. Bishop Baker, the Faithful of Charleston have made me proud and grateful to be their Bishop; They will do no less for you. As I commend them to your care, I bless them and thank them for almost a decade of graceful accomplishments and holy love. The Faithful of Charleston are Kingdom People; and, my Lord Bishop, they are fully prepared to honor you and embrace you as their leader in the Kingdom of God on earth.
How appropriate to this day are the words from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: There is a tide in the affairs of men (and women), which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune….On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves… To all here present, to the Faithful of Charleston, to all men and women of goodwill throughout the State of South Carolina I say: That tide is now – in the coming of Bishop Robert Baker. Let us rejoice in the Lord; the Lord is near; he is our new and most welcome Lord Bishop, Robert Baker. Bishop Baker. Happy sailing!