My post on the naming of Bishop Robert Vasa as coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Santa Rosa, California generated a few comments. Quite frankly, I was unaware of who Bishop Vasa is until I began reading other reports about him from various sources.
As you know, Bishop Vasa (pronounced Vasha), is most recently from the diocese of Baker, Oregon. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 22, 1976 by Bishop Glennon P. Flavin. He was assistant pastor at the cathedral in Lincoln and a teacher at Pius X High School in the same city. He served in the Marriage Tribunal, later obtaining a graduate degree in Canon Law from the Gregorian University in Rome. He was assistant chancellor, judicial vicar and later vicar general for the Lincoln diocese. He held various other offices there until being named bishop of Baker on November 19, 1999. He was ordained a bishop on January 26, 2000.
I’d like to quote from Bishop Vasa’s recent letter to the people of the diocese of Baker, after having been apprised of the Holy Father’s selection of him to be coadjutor bishop of Santa Rosa.
“… My eleven years in the Diocese of Baker have been a grace and blessing for me and while I have experienced a number of challenges in the Diocese I can say that I have never regretted saying, “Yes” the first time the Apostolic Nuncio contacted me. I have found a strength and a determination in the people here which matches the often relentless hardness of the land. I have found a land filled with beauty and I have delighted in my travels through it. I have found here friends in the varied corners of the Diocese and by these my life has been greatly enriched. I am also painfully aware that some have found me too difficult and I can assure you that I have often carried them with me to the chapel in prayer and at Mass. I can only pray that no one has been given true cause to abandon Christ because of me. I am sure that I have not been all that you hoped I could be for you and I ask that you pray that I do better in the future. Please do not judge me too harshly…… I have given of myself, with sacrifices which most will always be unaware, over these past eleven years and I have done so without any hint of regret. I have been blessed by you. I pray that you, in some way, have been likewise blessed by me. Let us remember to pray for one another.”
To read the entire letter, log on to: the Diocese of Baker website.