Amidst all the bad news, how about some positive things!
1.) We have a new Archbishop! We welcome Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski to our area. Archbishop Rozanski is a native of Baltimore and is a year younger than me, 62. (Birthday: August 6th.) He was ordained in 1984 and served in various parishes as well as serving as pastor. In 2004, he became an auxiliary bishop of Baltimore with the episcopal motto of “Serve the Lord with Gladness.” (Gotta like that!!) He became bishop of Springfield, MA in 2014 and was named Archbishop of St. Louis earlier this year. This past Tuesday, on the Feast of St. Louis, he was installed. Archbishop Rozanski should be making his first visit to Holy Redeemer in February to confirm our 8th grade. Ad multos annos.
2.) We have a new saliva test! Something that has been woefully underreported is that the FDA has approved a new saliva test for Covid-19. This is a game changer. Developed by researchers at Yale, the saliva test has been used by the NBA to test their players in their bubble. This test, we hope, will do three things. First, it is easier than having a swab jammed up your nostril. Second, the results can be produced faster. Third, it is cheaper. Win, win, win. In a selfless and morally responsible move the researchers at Yale have open sourced this, so that other labs and researchers could replicate their test. This is about saving lives, not making money. In an ideal world, you could have a home test where the results are almost immediate. The obvious question is: Is it reliable? Well, like we have learned through-out this mess, nothing is 100%, but the researchers think that it is comparable to the nasal swab test. This is good news. We can’t let down our guard, but this is good news.
3.) We have new Deacons! On Saturday, August 29th, the latest class of Deacons were or- dained for the Archdiocese. Included in this group are the brother of a friend of mine, as well as a former Franklin County judge named Dave Tobben. I have been a longtime friend of Dave’s (his wife, Lucy, played piano for the musicals I directed at Borgia), as well as serving as his spiritual director as he has gone through the process to ordination. (I actually knew Dave’s mother and father when I was in my early twenties working on a retreat program called The Search for Christian Maturity.) Deacons have become important additions to our church as the number of priests has declined over the past few years. (Believe it or not, I used to be a young priest.) So congratulations to the newly ordained!