The late Francis Cardinal George—the spiritual grandfather of Word on Fire—was a mentor and friend to me. The mission closest to his heart was the evangelization of the culture, bringing Christ to the arenas of media, politics, law, education, the arts, etc. I can’t think of a more exciting field for this sort of work than Los Angeles, which is certainly one of the great cultural centers of our time.
Many might be wondering what this means for the important work of Word on Fire. The short answer is that it will certainly continue! Through the ministrations of Fr. Steve Grunow and his extremely gifted staff, we will keep bringing you my regular articles, sermons, videos, and media resources.
Msgr. David O'Connell and Msgr. Joseph Brennan, both already based in Los Angeles.
Native of County Cork, Ireland, bishop-elect O'Connell, ordained 1979, has worked to end inner-city violence in L.A., and is a member of the archdiocese's pastoral committee on immigration.
“The greatest joy of my life is being a pastor,” said the Irish-born bishop. “I think our parishes and schools are powerful instruments of transformation of people's lives and of neighborhoods. I hope that as an auxiliary bishop I can continue to be a good pastor for the people.”
Bishop-elect Brennan, ordained in 1980, has been serving as Moderator of the Curia for the L.A. archdiocese.
Hailed as an exemplar of the priesthood in a 2002 LATimes profile as the clergy sex-abuse crisis made national headlines, the candid cleric likewise made a wave of a different sort in the piece with an indirectly cited statement that "women should be ordained and clergy should be able to marry."—Whispers in the Loggia/Palmo.