Saturday, December 16, 2006

Two New Bishops

The Diocese of Southwest Florida elected the Rev. Dabney Smith as its new bishop coadjutor (bishop-in-waiting) last week. Father Dabney was the rector at Trinity Church in uptown New Orleans, a prominent parish that runs the Loaves and Fishes meal truck I wrote about. I think I may have met him briefly, but I'm not really sure - we may have howdied, but we never shook, so to speak. But, I've only heard good things about Father Dabney. His parishioners seem to love him, and Katie, who runs the Diocesan gutting program, had only high praise for him. So congratulaions to Father Dabney and the Diocese of Southwest Florida!

Father Dabney is the second priest from the Diocese of Louisiana to be elected as a bishop this year. The Rev. John Bauerschmidt, rector of Christ Church in Covington (on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain), was elected Bishop of Tennessee in October. Having two of its priests elected bishops speaks well of the Diocese of Louisiana, and I would imagine that having experienced Katrina and its aftermath as a pastor is a unique qualification that will help these men make excellent bishops. However, my heart goes out to Bishop Jenkins, who has already lost a number of clergy in the storm's aftermath. Two more departing rectors is yet another cross for the Diocese to bear.

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