ARGENTINA, Auxiliary Bishop Ernesto José Fernández, Rosario •
At the end of the Episcopal Consecration Mass, Auxiliary Bishop Ernesto José Fernández of Rosario walked through the nave of the church to greet and bless the grateful congregation and addressed some very warm and affectionate words to us, which we publish here as the first. —
“My soul praises the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”. I fully identify myself with this exclamation of Our Lady in the Magnificat.
There are so many feelings that fill my heart at this moment that I cannot express them without tiring you, because it would take too long to say everything that I think and to thank everyone who is part of my story.
Therefore, I will only say that I am aware that I am what I am thanks to the grace of God that has worked first through my family and then through so many others. Therefore, I thank all those who have helped me shape my life with Christ.
I have the gift of having my mother with me. Thank you, Mom, for being such a good catechist, for letting me know God. And today I thank you for supporting me with your prayers.
I also thank my father, who has been in heaven for fifteen years. From him I learned the attitude of service and honesty.
I thank my brothers and sisters for giving me the assurance that I can always count on them.
I thank my extended family because I enjoy healthy and humorous relationships.
I thank my friends because I know I can always count on you to share, to laugh, to cry. And also on you to correct me when I need it.
I thank Pope Francis for his trust, and this trust obliges me to collaborate so that his dream of a merciful, missionary and synodal Church becomes more and more a reality. This vision of our dear Holy Father has given a breath of fresh air to my priestly ministry.
“He who has seen me has seen the Father”
I have made this phrase of Jesus my episcopal motto: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”
I know that is very big and may sound arrogant. But I believe that in the world we live in, it is a challenge for people to have healthy and deep emotional experiences that allow them to know God as Father. That they not only know that God exists, but that they can be moved like St. Therese was when she prayed the Our Father.
I offer myself with my knowledge and my ignorance. With my strengths and my weaknesses. But above all, with my heart.
My deepest desire is that you experience the Blessed Mother as your mother and educator, as I have experienced in my life. And that you come to the Shrine where she wants to forge the new man and the new society.
Trust in me that we will go this way together.
I entrust myself to your prayers.
Let us never forget that God created us as a family.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org