By Jay Nies
Bishop Emeritus John R. Gaydos and Bishop-elect W. Shawn McKnight hope people will make the entire Jefferson City diocese into a cathedral the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 6.
They are asking parishes and other Catholic groups throughout the diocese to organize “watch parties” that day for people to gather, pray and watch Bishop-elect McKnight’s ordination and installation.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop-elect McKnight, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, to succeed Bishop Gaydos, who is retiring after leading the Jefferson City diocese for 20 years.
TV coverage and livestreaming of the Ordination and Installation Mass in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Jefferson City will be available on the EWTN International Global Television Network.
EWTN’s coverage for the Mass is tentatively scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. central time.
The live broadcast will be available online and on cable and satellite TV all over the world.
Father Michael Nolan, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, will provide commentary for viewers at appropriate times during the Mass.
In addition, KQFX-TV “FOX 22” in Columbia plans to broadcast the Mass and offer its own coverage over the airwaves and on cable and satellite TV throughout central Missouri.
“As space in our cathedral is limited, the installation Mass must be a ticketed event for invited guests,” noted Father Joseph S. Corel, pastor of St. Andrew parish in Holts Summit and transition coordinator for the Jefferson City diocese.
He pointed out that three representatives from every parish and mission in the diocese will be among those invited, along with all of the priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers serving in the diocese.
“At the same time, we want it to be a universal celebration for the People of God throughout these 38 counties and beyond,” said Fr. Corel. “We urge people to tune-in on any of the media outlets that are offering coverage and join us in asking God to fill our new bishop with grace and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
“We’re also encouraging people to make this a communal event, gathering with family, friends and fellow parishioners and taking in the experience as local manifestations of the Church,” said Fr. Corel.
He suggested including wherever possible people who are homebound, who may feel alienated or disconnected from the Church, or who are not Catholic but are open to learning what they can about the Church.
“Why not be creative in finding ways to use this grace-filled occasion as an opportunity to evangelize, renew old acquaintances, invite people back into the fold and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?” said Fr. Corel.
Feb. 5 Evening Prayer service open to the public
The evening before the installation, Bishop Emeritus Gaydos and Bishop-elect McKnight will gather with representatives of the Church throughout the United States, other Christian leaders from the area, state and local dignitaries, out-of-town guests and people throughout the Jefferson City diocese for an Evening Prayer service.
Evening Prayer — part of the Universal Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, which is the universal prayer of the Church — is also a beautiful ecumenical prayer because all who attend can participate fully regardless of their religious affiliation.
Bishop Emeritus Gaydos is slated to preach the homily.
The service will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5, in the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 2305 W. Main St., across from Memorial Park in Jefferson City.
Bishop-elect McKnight will make a public pledge of fidelity and obedience to Pope Francis and his successors during the service.
All are invited to attend.
Afterward, Bishop-elect McKnight will greet people during a reception in the downstairs Undercroft of the cathedral.
Overflow parking will be available in the Memorial Park parking lot across West Main Street from the cathedral.
A livestream broadcast of the service will be available through the diocesan YouTube channel. Go to our site’s homepage, and click on the red YouTube button in the upper right corner of the page.
Links to webcasts of the Evening Prayer service and EWTN’s coverage of the Ordination and Installation Mass will be available on the diocesan website after both events.