There’s a Holy Hour every Friday at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington where people gather to pray for priests of the diocese.
The faithful who arrived there April 30 for the 11 a.m. weekly devotion discovered their prayers were being answered in a big way with the arrival of the newest priest of the diocese, Bishop-elect William E. Koenig. And even more in keeping with the Friday Holy Hour’s prayer intentions for priests of the Diocese of Wilmington, immediately prior to his appointment as Wilmington’s 10th bishop, Bishop-elect. Koenig was serving as a priest for priests — the Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y.
After the noontime Mass following Bishop Malooly’s introduction of his successor, Sheila Dunne, who has attended the Cathedral’s Holy Hour” for about eight to 10 years,“ noted the “impressive resume” of Bishop-electKoenig that was printed in the Cathedral’s Mass booklet. “I’m delighted he’s the new leader of Wilmington,” she said.
A parishioner at St. Patrick’s, the Cathedral’s neighbor, Dunne said she heard the news of Bishop-electKoenig’s appointment in an email blast she received at 6:30 a.m.
“I immediately sent it out to all my friends,” Dunne said. “They were delighted.”
Linda Fletcher, a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima in New Castle, said she found out about the new leader of Catholics in Delaware and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland “accidentally” when she attended the Cathedral’s noontime Mass.
“I think I trust the pope’s decision on the great new bishop,” she said.
Matt Boyer, a St. Ann’s Parishioner in Wilmington, said he attends the 12:10 p.m. Cathedral Mass occasionally, but after he saw the new bishop news on The Dialog’s online site, decided to be in the pews there Friday.
Boyer said he’s glad Bishop-elect Koenig seems to be “a people person” based on the live-stream news conference he watched before the Mass.
Christa Klein, the widow of Father Leonard Klein, a former rector of the Cathedral, was pleased a fellow native Long Islander would be leading the diocese.
Klein is from Malverne, NY, on Long Island. Bishop-elect Koenig was born in Queens on Long Island and ordained for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the largest diocese in the country, which consists of the counties of Long Island beyond Queens and Brooklyn.
“I hear he’s a very hard worker,” Klein said of Wilmington’s new bishop.
Carole Corcoran, a Cathedral parishioner, said Bishop-elect Koenig’s arrival and the Mass, made it a very joyful day for her parish.
If the Cathedral’s Holy Hour for priests had be interrupted Friday, it seemed providential that it was for the announcement that a vicar for clergy was becoming a bishop for Catholics in Delaware and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
At the Cathedral press conference, Bishop-elect Koenig assured the priests of Wilmington of his prayers, too. “May we together proclaim the kingdom of God and in the words of our priestly ordination, ‘strive to bring the faithful together into one family and lead them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.’”