Archbishop Chaput begins his goodbyes to Denver
The 66-year-old Chaput told reporters and others during a news conference at the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization that he was tired from the excitement of his introduction to the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
He compared it to entering an arranged marriage.
“All of a sudden I have a new wife,” he said with an incredulous rise of his voice. “It’s exciting when you don’t know her. We (bishops) are given our brides, rather than choosing them. I think it will work.”
Chaput studied and worked in western Pennsylvania for more than a decade but had visited Philadelphia only a handful of times and never for very long, he said.
Two weeks ago Tuesday, Chaput said, he first learned of his new assignment from the Vatican. His appointment was the culmination of a year-long search process, of which he knew nothing until he got the call this month.
A week ago Sunday, Chaput said his last Mass as Denver’s archbishop at Denver’s mother church, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
“No one knew it but me,” he said. “It was a very emotional moment for me.”
An archbishop who says weekly Mass in his cathedral is unusual, Chaput said, and he would miss it very much if it can’t continue in Philadelphia.
“I really love the Sunday night Mass at the cathedral,” he told The Denver Post after the news conference.
Chaput said he will spend the next week or more thinking hard about what constitutes the greatest pastoral needs of Denver and which qualities in an archbishop would make a good match.
He will make recommendations, he said, but wouldn’t disclose them. [more]