Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bishop Tobin Press Conference

This morning I was able to attend Bishop Tobin's press conference. 

You can do all the research online that you want, but, despite technology, there will never be a replacement for shaking another person's hand and looking in their eyes. 

I came away EXTREMELY impressed with Bishop Tobin - not that Pope Benedict was waiting for me to weigh in before stamping it or anything.

I wanted to share some reflections on the day

1) A few days ago I was doing some internet "stalking" just to read up on Archbishop Tobin and I cam across an article that described him as a whirlwind who blows into the room and is a big person, a big personality, etc.  He is a big guy, but he struck me as a very prayerful man, a very reflective man, and so, in that way, he reminded a lot of Archbishop Buechlein.  Being a prayerful person seems to me to be one of the few things you can't fake.

2)  He began by saying what we needed to know about him is that he was baptized in May of 52 (I think).  He spoke about the gift his Faith has been, and how God is a God who continues to surprise us!

3)  Bishop Tobin talked about Catholic education and how he was a product of Catholic school.  He praised the Archdiocese for its Catholic school system and praised Indiana for its voucher system.

4)  He's the oldest of 13 and he made a couple of great points about that.  He first of all mentioned how being from a big family you learn pretty quickly that you aren't the center of the universe (can I get an AMEN!).  He said you also have to learn how to share when you have 8 people using a bathroom!  The other point that he made about his family, though, was that his father died when his youngest sibling was only 5 and so he also learned what it is like to be in a struggling, single-parent family.

5)  When I and a couple of other priests had an opportunity to just briefly greet Archbishop Tobin a half hour or so after the press conference, he somehow brought up the idea that he would never have imagined any of this, never imagined getting sent to Rome, never imagined working for the Vatican, and never imagined getting sent to be an Archbishop, but he said that he has always said "yes" to what he's been asked, and he just seemed very genuine and humble and kind when talking about all of it and seemed very interested in where we were all serving. 

Again, those were my main impressions, and for what it is worth, I'm very excited for the future!