Starting a diocese from scratch in less than 6 weeks - From a letter from Bishop Vincent S. Waters
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 12:13 Wednesday, 01 February 2012 12:55
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From a letter from Bishop Vincent S. Waters to the people of his diocese:
November, 30, 1971
"My dear Brethren of the People of God:
Our Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, through the Most Reverend Apostolic Delegate, has made known to us that he has in mind very soon to erect from the territory of the Diocese of Raleigh a new Diocese of Charlotte. He has chosen as the first Bishop of the prospective Diocese of Charlotte our own Reverend Monsignor Michael J. Begley, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Rejoice with me at this good news. Be glad and realize how very good this will be for our great Southern State of North Carolina to know that a diocese will be born very soon after the birthday of our Blessed Lord on Christmas.
All our Catholic people will, by prayers and thanks, respond with me in gratitude to our Holy Father and to his Apostolic Delegate for this real Christmas Gift to all of us.
In thanking our Holy Father, who has always been interested in our diocese, I wish to thank him for the high honor and the responsibility he has conferred on one of our own good Monsignors - a splendid choice for the first shepherd of the clergy, religious and people of God of the future Diocese of Charlotte. I congratulate Bishop-elect Begley and wish him a thousand welcomes into the jurisdiction of this State with me as a Brother Bishop in North Carolina.
That you may understand when exactly the birth of the new diocese takes place, let me explain the legal sequence of these events. First is the erection of the New Diocese of Charlotte by the execution of the decree of Our Holy Father by his representative in the United States, the Most Reverend Apostolic Delegate. Second, the consecration of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte takes place immediately after reading the decree. Third, the installation of the newly consecrated Bishop takes place in the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Charlotte. All of these have been scheduled for January 12, 1972, at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Charlotte, N.C.
All in the Diocese of Raleigh, which includes all of North Carolina except the Abbey of Belmont...should join together with me and Bishop Lynch in the launching of this new Diocese of Charlotte by preparation before, and actually on January 12, 1972. With the greatest joy and hope in assisting the Holy Father in his Apostolic Delegate in the wonderful work of the Church of God in our beloved Southland with your gracious help, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Vincent S. Waters
Bishop of Raleigh"
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