Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Calendar Alert

Word's come via Madison that the nation's longest diocesan vacancy will reach its close on October 26, when Bishop-elect Paul Swain is ordained and installed in Sioux Falls. The liturgy will be held in the South Dakota diocese's St Joseph's Cathedral, the second such rite said edifice has hosted in as many years. (Local boy done good Thomas Gullickson was ordained an archbishop there in November, 2004; he currently serves as the papal nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago.)

The time-lapse of less than two months between Swain's 31 August appointment and the ordination date is notable for its brevity. While canon law stipulates a period of no more than two months between appointment and installation for an appointee who's already a bishop, the law allows a four-month preparatory period between nomination and possession-taking for a bishop-elect who has not yet been ordained. The lengthy interregnum -- which'll be just under the 22 month mark by the time Swain takes his chair -- has clearly expedited the plans.

With the Vatican slowly returning to life after the August exodus, there'll be more to come on the appointment front in short order.... As always, stay tuned.

SVILUPPO: In a new low, the first published version of this post had misplaced Sioux Falls in "North" Dakota -- which is, of course, egregiously not the case. All apologies to South Dakotans, and anyone else offended.... It's already been a long week.