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Catholic Diocese Of Columbus Installs 12th Bishop

interior of St. Joseph Cathedral
Columbus Landmarks
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interior of St. Joseph Cathedral

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus installed its 12th bishop, Rev. Robert Brennan, during a celebration of the mass Friday afternoon.

Following a procession of deacons, priests and bishops, Brennan knocked on the cathedral door three times to take possession of the cathdra - the chair of a bishop in his church. People representing every parish in the diocese’s 23 counties filled Saint Joseph Cathedral downtown to celebrate the declaration of Brennan as bishop.

Brennan’s shield, which is designed to depict aspects of life and faith that are important to him, says: “Thy will be done.” He focused his first sermon as bishop on this motto.

Brennan says the words are inspired by his grandfather’s tombstone.

“So, from a very, very young age, I would see those words,” Brennan says. “Cogged, etched in stone. Etched in stone and eventually etched in my own head.”

Brennan replaces former Columbus bishop Rev. Frederick Campbell. Campbell submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis at age 75, as required by church law.

Lisset Mendoza, who works for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, attended the mass. She says she hopes the new bishop will focus on young people.

“I’m interested to see where this new bishop is gonna head us. The new journey for the church,” Mendoza says. “Where are all the millenials staying in the church? How are we bringing them back to the church?”

Julie Keckstein, a member of St. Andrew Parish, says there is much work to be done in the Diocese of Columbus.

“There's a lot of challenges with the church and attracting young folks, and re-engaging our parishes, and shining the light of Christ to everyone here in the diocese,” Keckstein says.

Formerly, Brennan was the auxiliary bishop for the diocese of Rockville Center, N.Y. With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as a member of the Committee for Catholic Education, the Administrative Committee, and the Priorities and Plans Committee.

There are 278,528 Catholics in the diocese, and 97 active parish priests.