Covering the Land of Lincoln

The Observer

Q and A: And Now, Back to the Future

This special issue has reflected on the ministry of Bishop Malloy in the Diocese of Rockford as the ninth bishop of Rockford in honor of his 10th anniversary. And now, we must look forward to the next years under his leadership. As required by canon law, Bishops must submit their resignations on their 75th birthdays. For Bishop Malloy, that is nine years away. Here, Bishop Malloy answers several final questions that reflect back but also look to the future and what the focus for us all could be in the coming years.

QBased on your experience in the Rockford Diocese the last ten years, do you have any particular effort you are most proud of?

ATo be a priest or bishop is to try to answer God’s call to a particular service in the Church. That calling comes from God. So too do the challenges and the joys come from God or at least He allows them in the life of each one of us. Looked at it that way, I am grateful for God’s calling to come to Rockford to serve, and I am thankful for the graces that I have received as Bishop. I am proud that I have tried to serve Christ and the Church as faithfully as I can.

QIs there any specific disappointment you have experienced?

AWe live in a challenging time, both in the Church and in society. For example, the number of people attending Mass on Sundays continues a slow decline that has been taking place for some time. At the same time, many of our young people continue to abandon the practice of their Catholic faith. These are not challenges that are unique to the Diocese of Rockford. But as Bishop I am still disappointed that we have not witnessed a reversal in these trends.

QWhen you were first appointed, you said your first task was to get to know the diocese. Obviously you have done that. As you begin your next decade as bishop, what is on your “to do” list?

AThe Bishops of the United States are undertaking a Eucharistic renewal over the next few years. That effort seeks to strengthen the faith of Catholics in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I would like to see the Diocese of Rockford undertake a renewal as well of the sacraments of confession, confirmation and marriage. The graces from these three sacraments fill the daily life of the faithful. We need a greater understanding and embrace of these gifts of God given through the Church.

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