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WATCH: Bishop Malooly reinforces support of Appeal in first Mass since recuperating from surgery

Bishop Malooly's first public Mass since January was livestreamed on the diocese YouTube channel.

The Third Sunday of Easter was a special day April 18 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Diocese of Wilmington.

Bishop Malooly made his return to public Mass for the first time since cardiac surgery early this year.

“Everything today is centered on witnessing,” the bishop said in opening his homily.

“Many of you know that I had a six-hour open heart surgery about two-and-a-half months ago, so this is my first day back out of captivity,” the bishop said. “And I want to witness the good news I received.

“Many of the doctors and nurses, I knew. Actually five of the nurses, I presided at their high school graduations here in Delaware. And their own skill, God-given talents and faith were obvious to me. They were witnesses.

“Those of you who continue to pray for me, day-in and day-out, also were witnesses to your own faith in asking God to help me. So I thank all of you.”

The bishop also plans to celebrate the annual Chrism Mass on April 20 at the cathedral. He announced the schedule update March 12 in a message to priests of the diocese.

“I want to have a special shout out to Msgr. Steve Hurley,” Bishop Malooly said. “He’s the vicar general and he ran the diocese remarkably. It’s not an easy venture and I thank him.”

The bishop tied his message of witnessing to the 2021 Annual Catholic Appeal. “Disciples of Christ, Witnesses of Hope” is the theme of the Appeal.

“Part of our obligation in witnessing Jesus is focusing on those outside of us,” the bishop said. “We know we have to be concerned about one another. And our hope for them is what we can share. I encourage all of you as best you can during the pandemic to be generous to our Appeal, which helps those who are most in need.”

This year’s fundraising goal is $4,871,000.

Bishop Malooly has been recuperating from Jan. 28 cardiac bypass surgery. He was released from the hospital Feb. 2.