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From climax of diocesan sesquicentennial to ‘ad limina’ visit with Pope Francis, 2019 was memorable: Photo gallery

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Bishop Malooly greets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Dec. 3.

It was a year that began with the required submission of a retirement letter from Bishop Malooly, but 2019 ended with the bishop closing the books on another full year of leadership in the Diocese of Wilmington.

A look back at 2019 recalls the official close of the diocesan sesquicentennial, a trip to Rome for an “ad limina” visit with Pope Francis and many more milestones for Catholics in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

January
Bishop Malooly’s 75th birthday happened Jan. 18, and the bishop submitted his letter of retirement to Pope Francis as required by canon law. The pope did not accept it during the year.
The results of the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal revealed the highest amounts pledged and collected in the campaign’s 43-year history. The diocesan Development Office reported that the $5,326,910 pledged by Catholics in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland surpassed the appeal’s $4.6 million goal by 13.79 percent.

February
Father Roger DiBuo, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Bear, added the role of Liaison for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Groups to his list of responsibilities after the bishop made the appointment. He will help the bishop in relationships between the Diocese of Wilmington and other Christian and non-Christian religious congregations in the community.

Father Paul J. Campbell
Father Paul J. Campbell

State Sen. Bryant Richardson (R-Laurel) sponsored two pro-life bills in the Delaware General Assembly. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB52) and the Woman’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act (HB53) were introduced in the legislature.
Father Paul J. Campbell, pastor of St. Christopher Church in Chester, Md., since 2015, died Feb. 3 after a brief illness. He was 66. Dozens of priests and a gathering of friends and family on Feb. 9 joined Bishop Malooly at the Mass of Christian Burial for Father Campbell.

March
The diocese concluded its year-long 150th anniversary celebration with a Mass at St. Elizabeth Church. The Diocese was established on March 3, 1868 by Blessed Pope Pius IX.
An overflow crowd crammed into a Legislative Hall hearing room before a senate committee chairwoman decided to move the group of several hundred into the main Senate chamber to hear testimony on two bills seeking to limit abortion in the state. The committee of the Delaware state senate heard testimony from nearly two dozen abortion opponents and those who support keeping abortion legal.

Unplanned
Louis De Angelo, secretary of education, and Father Joseph W. McQuaide IV, chancellor of the Diocese of Wilmington, talk before the premiere of “Unplanned” March 28 with Oblate Sisters of St. Francis, from left, Sister ​Lawrence Therese Hudson, Sister Anne Elizabeth Eder, Sister Joseph Margaret Kimura, Sister Joseph Anne Ricciardi and Sister John Elizabeth Callaghan. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

Two local groups hosted premiere showings of the movie “Unplanned.” The film is the dramatic account of a former Planned Parenthood high achiever, Abby Johnson, the group’s youngest clinic director in the nation, until she walked out after assisting in an abortion.

April
Saint Mark’s High School announced that Richard A. Bayhan will retire as prinicipal at the end of the school year.
People in Paris and around the world watched in horror as flames consumed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, stirring genuine emotions that could come only from witnessing the loss of beauty.

May
Faith leaders, medical professionals and advocates for people with disabilities were among those with an emotional outpouring at Legislative Hall in Dover on May 8, standing in opposition to a Delaware House bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state. They left without a vote being taken by the House Health and Human Development Committee.

Donn Devine
Donn Devine

Donn Devine, the longtime Diocese of Wilmington archivist whose lengthy career included law, writing, planning director for the city of Wilmington and inspector general for the National Guard, died at age 90.
Bishop Malooly recognized 10 seniors from each of the eight Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wilmington with the St. Francis de Sales Award. Honorees are selected for excellence in faith development, scholarship, service, leadership and citizenship.

June
When Father Steven Giuliano took over as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Seaford, it marked the end of nearly a half-century of stewardship by the Redemptorist Priests. The religious order, citing its dwindling numbers and increasing responsibilities, decided it could no longer remain in Sussex County.
Bishop Malooly was the main celebrant of the annual Mass for Vocations, which is an opportunity to pray for and support those who are discerning a call to priesthood, consecrated life and the permanent diaconate.

July
Thomas S. Fertal, most recently the president at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., was named principal at Saint Mark’s High School.

Principal Tom Fertal adresses students. Saint Mark’s High School hosted its 50th anniversary opening school liturgy on Sept. 6. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

The Dialog won six awards from the Catholic Press Association during the annual Catholic Media Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Athletes at three Catholic high schools will have new or improved facilities this season, while preparation work has started at the most anticipated athletic capital project. Baynard Stadium, the venerable multi-purpose facility across 18th Street from Salesianum, is gone, to be replaced by Abessinio Stadium.

August
Helen Fuhrmann opened The Angelus Gallery at 417 W. Fifth St. in May after nearly two years of restoration. On the first Friday of each month, the gallery is part of the Wilmington Art Loop, and proceeds from sales benefit the Ministry of Caring.

Bishop Malooly talks with Angelique Lorang, left, and Linda Malone during the 4th Annual Bishop 5K at Glasgow Park, Saturday, August 24, 2019. Dialog photo/Don Blake

Michael DiGennaro and Danielle Lambert were winners at the fourth Annual Bishop’s 5K at Glasgow Park. The bishop got the event started and greeted 201 competitors at the finish line.
The annual horse show and jousting tournament at St. Joseph Church in Cordova, Md., was saved through a collaboration between the church and the Eastern Shore Jousting Association.
The Silver Rose, a program of the Knights of Columbus honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, came to Delaware for the first time. It visited parishes in all three counties in the state.

September
Bishop Malooly blessed the gym at Christ the Teacher school and the parish center at St. Margaret of Scotland on the same campus in Glasgow to mark the completion of both construction projects.
Volunteers with “40 Days for Life” took part in an effort to offer alternatives to abortion in Wilmington and hundreds of cities across the world.

Father Jay McKee, pastor of St. Patrick’s Chapel in Pilottown, reviews the historic marker outlining the chapel’s history. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

Seasonal weather made for a pleasant morning for the more than 100 guests who showed up to celebrate the 200-year-old St. Patrick’s Chapel, a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania border on the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s northwest corner.
Brother Michael J. Rosenello, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales and an integral part of St. Anthony of Padua Parish and Padua Academy, died Sept. 20. Brother Mike, 92, was a member of the Oblates for 71 years.
As part of its ongoing 50th birthday party, Saint Mark’s High School held a party to celebrate its first day of school, Sept. 30, 1969.

October
Bishop John O. Barres, the former Wilmington priest who heads the Rockville Centre, N.Y., diocese, was back in town at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Church to deliver the homily for members of the legal community at the 32nd annual Mass sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Wilmington.
About two dozen Felician Sisters returned to Newark for the dedication of Our Lady of Grace Village, a five-building, 60-unit affordable housing project.

November
Nobody rang any bells and no wings were handed out. But the “angels” of the eighth-grade class at Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School did get to construct a handicap ramp for a woman in need at her home in Westover, Md. The ramp was built in conjunction with the Chesapeake Housing Mission and is the second year the school and mission have worked together on a service project.

Eighth-grade students at Most Blessed Sacrament School in Berlin, Md., help build a handicap ramp. Photo for The Dialog/Amanda Evans

St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Wilmington held its first musical lecture — “Let’s Pray Two!” — at St. Helena’s Church in Wilmington.
The Dialog published a special section — “Giving Thanks” — a 44-page tribute to Bishop Malooly the same year as his 75th birthday when he sent a letter of resignation to Pope Francis as required by canon law. It included “through the years” pages with dozens of photographs and quotations from the bishop during his tenure in the Diocese of Wilmington.

December
Bishop Malooly found a supportive and grateful Pope Francis and members of various Vatican offices during his early December “ad limina” visit, his third such meeting with as many popes since he became a bishop nearly 20 years ago.
Father James Nash, the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul in Easton, Md., announced plans to construct a new high school building on a piece of property next to the parish church along Route 50. The parish purchased the land from the Catholic Foundation. It will house the school and a sports complex.
Lutheran pastors, several dozen Catholic priests and hundreds of family and friends joined Bishop Malooly in celebrating the life of Diocese of Wilmington priest Father Leonard R. Klein during his funeral Mass at Cathedral of St. Peter. The congregation filled to capacity the cathedral where Father Klein served as rector.