Ordination Mass for Bishop Robert F. Christian

Dominican consecrated San Francisco’s 18th auxiliary bishop on June 5 at San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral

Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Robert F. Christian, OP. (image from Catholic San Francisco)

The episcopal ordination of Bishop Robert F. Christian, OP, as San Francisco’s 18th auxiliary bishop on June 5 at San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral cast the role as one of service over honor and achievement.

Priests and deacons numbering almost 300 including some 100 Dominicans and more than 20 bishops joined with family, friends and women religious for the ordination of Bishop Christian. A fourth-generation San Franciscan and Dominican priest for 42 years, Bishop Christian was master of students for the Dominican Western Province at St. Albert’s Priory in Oakland when he was appointed to the role of bishop by Pope Francis in March.

“Father Robert, your diligence in teaching the faith of the Apostles through instruction and formation of future church leaders will serve you well in your new episcopal ministry among us,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone in his homily. “We give thanks to God and to Pope Francis for electing you to this office which you will exercise as a good shepherd, seeking the good of your people and not worldly gain or honor.”

Noting that the day was Election Day in San Francisco, the archbishop said that in the Bible, election is the action of God, a call to service. “To be God’s elect entails a form of existence different from that of the rest of the people,” he said, but not for the purpose of making oneself out to be better than others. “Separation from, is also a separation for.”

Bishop Christian is the first Dominican bishop since Dominican Father Joseph Sadoc Alemany became the first Archbishop of San Francisco in 1850. Archbishop Cordileone thanked the Order of Preachers for what he called the “exemplary leadership and tireless pastoral care” it has provided to the people of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and beyond.

Bishop Christian said, “I am ultimately someone who was given a sacramental character by Christ, enabling me to join a college that keeps the church in right doctrine, preaches that doctrine handed down from the apostles even when it seems to engender indifference or hostility,” he said. “And which promotes the pursuit of happiness by promoting the pursuit of holiness.”

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.

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Comments

  1. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    Congratulations Christian Bishop Christian!

  2. 42 years as a priest means the good Bishop is nearing or at 70. So five years till expected retirement. One might have hoped the ‘Personnel Office’ could have a well qualified person in their mid fifties.

  3. God Bless you Bishop Christian we know that there are many challenges ahead of you. God Speed my friend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    great news. But why ordain a senior citizen who maybe has 5 years to go before mandatory request of retirement?

    • Steve Seitz says:

      If Pope Francis is who I think he is, this may have been a political solution. He gave Archbishop Cordileone a fine orthodox assistant while doing no lasting harm to his personal agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he is the best person for the job?

    • Danijela Brekalo says:

      Much much much better to have a “senior citizen” orthodox bishop than younger one who would mislead his flock (as we have experience and now San Diego is experiencing). Thank God for Bishop Christian.

  5. Anonymous says:

    God Bless Bishop Robert Christian. Being a senior citizen does not mean he does not have the knowledge and wisdom to govern the Catholics of the S.F. Archdiocese for the next five years. He is a blessing to the Archdiocese of S.F. and the surrounding Dioceses. We welcome him with open arms as all should!

  6. FrMichael says:

    Good news and seems like an orthodox prelate– we need those! The five year time span is a bit strange.

  7. Bishop Christian is a blessing – disguised as a Senior Citizen. Is there some Church law that says anyone over 55 years of age cannot become a Bishop or a Cardinal or even a Pope? I detect a little discrimination in the voice of Anonymous on June 7 at 10:07 a.m. He/she too will be a senior some day! Bishop Christian is orthodox…..what more do we want?

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