When Pope Francis called me to be Bishop of the Diocese of Albany, the one thing I feared was that I would have to spend my days sitting behind a desk and wouldn’t have the opportunity to do what I love most: to be a pastor, to be with my people. Happily, that hasn’t been the case! Every day as your shepherd is another opportunity to visit parishes and schools, to travel around the 10,000 square miles of our diocese and meet each and every one of you, one person at a time.
I want to spend quality time with you, to have conversations with you and get to know you better. I am interested in sharing your experiences of what it means to be Church, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. I want to know what God is doing in your life and what challenges you are facing. My interest also extends to people of other faiths, as well as those who identify with none, especially through cooperative efforts to encounter the poorest and most marginalized members of our communities.
Each and every one of us has marvelous and wonderful gifts to be shared, and we need one another to be able to bring out the best in each other and, in a complementary way, build up the Body of Christ. That’s really what Church is about. It’s not about buildings. It’s not about money. It’s not about things or plans. It’s about people. It’s about making connections. It’s about recognizing the presence of God in every single human being.