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Bishop Monroe marks golden jubilee

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Friends, clergy celebrate Bishop Emeritus of Kamloops
By Josh Tng

(BCC File Photo)

Fifty years after his priestly ordination and a year after his official retirement, Bishop David J. Monroe can’t stop leaving a positive impact on the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

“It is precisely 50 years ago today, May 20, 1967, that the young Deacon David Monroe received his gift of the priesthood,” Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, told the crowd at the bishop’s celebration dinner at the Italian Cultural Centre.

“It was a gift, not only for the man ordained, but for thousands and thousands of people who have been nourished by his fruitful ministry this past half-century.”

More than 150 attendees came to celebrate Bishop Monroe’s golden anniversary of priestly ordination in the Archdiocese of Vancouver and recall his achievements as the Bishop Emeritus of Kamloops.

“As a pastor and in all aspects of his ministry, Bishop Monroe is extremely sensitive to ensuring churches and places of worship reflect the beauty of God,” Archbishop Miller said.

“Bishop David’s esthetic and artistic sensibilities have left a mark wherever he’s been, most apparent in the renovated Holy Rosary Cathedral, where he directed renovations in preparation for the visit of St. John Paul II in 1984.”

Bishop Monroe’s eye for detail also served him well in his spiritual ministry. “He enriches the lives of people by bringing them to the Lord,” said the archbishop. “They see Bishop David, a man, a priest, who loves them, who listens to them, who dialogues with them, who defends them and offers them comfort in times of trial. He is a man who devotes his personal time to their needs.”

“Bishop David is a father and a brother. A man of God, and a man of the people. Who couldn’t and doesn’t admire that?”
Father Fred Weisbeck, chancellor of the Diocese of Kamloops, recounted sitting alone in his office one day, waiting for a visit from someone – anyone – requesting his help.

At the end of the day, the frustrated priest left his office and went to speak with Bishop Monroe.

“You know,” Father Weisbeck told the bishop, “I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything today. In fact, I don’t think I deserve the supper I’m going to eat tonight because it was a complete whitewash.”

“You were available all day,” Bishop Monroe responded. “You accomplished a lot by being available.”

The bishop’s words of encouragement stuck with Father Weisbeck. “I realized that was not just words that he shared, but it was the reality that he lived.”

When outlying parishes were having confessions and needed an extra priest, Bishop Monroe would be the first to respond, Father Weisbeck said.

“That meant the commitment of driving for five or six hours to that parish, and maybe having perhaps four or five people showing up for penitential service,” said Father Weisbeck. “That also meant getting up first thing in the morning and driving back for another full day. But he was available.”

Chuck Luttrell, who worked with Bishop Monroe while the bishop was the chaplain and director at Camp Latona from 1965 to 2002, noted “He is a kind man, he is a kind priest, he is a kind bishop. Kindness is such a wonderful gift, and Bishop David has it in spades.”

Although retired, Bishop Monroe continues to do replacement ministry throughout the Archdiocese of Vancouver.


Last Updated on Friday, 26 May 2017 10:44  

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