Bishops-elect make Oath of Fidelity, Profession of Faith

The Bishops-elect place their hands on the Bible as they make their Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

WATERTOWN -- During an Aug. 12 Mass broadcast live from CatholicTV's studio in Watertown and celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, Bishops-elect Robert P. Reed and Mark O'Connell took a step towards becoming bishops before their Aug. 24 ordination at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

During the Mass, the bishops-elect recited together the Oath of Fidelity, followed by the Profession of Faith. In the Oath of Fidelity, the bishops-elect pledged to make every effort to carry out their duties as bishops, uphold the discipline of the Church and remain forever faithful to it.

In the Profession of Faith, the bishops-elect asserted their belief and devotion of God and the teachings of the Church.

Following the recitation of the Oath of Fidelity and the Profession of Faith, Cardinal O'Malley blessed the symbols of the bishop's office -- the crosier, miter, and ring -- that the bishops-elect will be given during their Mass of Ordination.

In the Aug. 12 entry in his weekly blog, Cardinal O'Malley noted that the rings "are similar to those we've presented in the past to our auxiliary bishops, which are based on a 'fumie' of Our Lady of Guadalupe."

A fumie (pronounced "foo-mee-EH") was a large medallion that shoguns used in 1600s Japan to identify Catholics, at a time where missionaries began coming to Japan, where there was a backlash against Christianity happening. The shoguns would put the medallions on the ground and ask villagers to step on them. Those who refused were identified as Catholics and were typically tortured and killed.

One of the early fumies was that of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an image made known in Japan after Mexican missionaries brought it from their home country.

"So to me using the fumie on the bishops' rings brings together so many different themes," the cardinal explained. "One is the theme of martyrdom and of being a witness -- the bishop is called to be a witness of the Resurrection and must, as St. Paul says, embrace the hardships of the gospel. It also reminds us of the patronage and protection of the Virgin Mary in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is the principal American Madonna."

The Aug. 24 Mass of Ordination will be broadcast live on CatholicTV's cable channels, on, and on CatholicTV's Apple TV, Roku, and mobile applications, and will be rebroadcast at 8:00 p.m. later that day. The Mass will also be available for on-demand viewing.

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