Diocesan Staffers React to New Bishop Appointment with Hope, Happiness

By Peggy Weber
Iobserve [Springfield MA]
Downloaded March 12, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Reaction to the appointment of Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell as the Eighth Bishop of Springfield was positive, bordering on jubilant, following a meeting with diocesan staff on March 9.

Sister of St. Joseph Paula Robillard, director of religious education for the Diocese of Springfield, said she was "delighted that the first words out of his mouth involved catechesis."

"He is someone who has worked in the parish and can only help to build up the Body of Christ," she said.

The words thrilled, happy and delighted were used many times by people who met the new bishop for the first time at a 10 a.m. meeting at the Bishop Marshall Center, adjacent to St. Michael's Cathedral in downtown Springfield.

"We're thrilled and looking forward to working with him on so many important projects in and around the diocese, especially the Annual Appeal," said Virginia Webb, diocesan Director of Stewardship and Development.

Msgr. Richard Sniezyk, temporary administrator for the Diocese of Springfield, said he too was "thrilled" with the new bishop. "From the little time I've spent with him, I think he is exactly the man for our diocese," he said.

"He's approachable. He listens. I believe he has a good sense, in this short time, of already looking at our diocese and what direction the diocese should go," said Msgr. Sniezyk.

Doreen Archambault, a member of support staff for diocesan buildings, said she was pleased the new bishop was a New York Yankees fan like herself.

Bishop McDonnell also noted that he had responsibilities for the Archdiocesan Building Commission, Ecclesiastical Maintenance Service and the Institutional Commodity Service.

Archambault, who is responsible for much of the maintenance and cleaning of the diocesan offices, said "He'll appreciate what we do since he has been involved in that."

Robin Foley, also on support staff at the diocesan offices, said, "I think he is refreshing and going to bring a positive mood to the diocese, which is what we need right now."

Bishop Emeritus Joseph Maguire greeted the new bishop with great warmth noting, "You don't know how good it feels to say 'hello' to you."

He added, "Pope John Paul II has been very good to us. He has given Bishop Timothy A. Mc Donnell to lead and watch over us. With renewed hope and confidence, we look forward to a happy and holy Easter."

Laura Failla Reilly, victims' advocate for the Diocese of Springfield, said, "I'm thrilled that the bishop's focus is on the laity and the fact that he says he has to listen to what people want and need. This is a great beginning."

Don Boucher, director of youth ministry for the diocese, said he, too, was excited about the new bishop.

"When I met him in the receiving line, he told me that when he was in a parish he had a full-time youth minister and that it was one of the best investments he ever made. I am encouraged by that and him. He has a great presence," said Boucher.

Father Dan Pacholec, director of vocations for the diocese, said, "We're looking forward to a new springtime for vocations in our diocese with our new bishop's support."

Jan Denney, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said, "I'm pleased that the Vatican has appointed someone to help us heal in our process. I'm glad they really moved and heard our need."

Father Christopher Connelly, ecclesiastical secretary for the diocese, said, "I think we are blessed to have Bishop McDonnell as our spiritual leader. He has been warmly received and he seems thoroughly happy to be the Bishop of Springfield."


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