Dear friends in the Lord,
On behalf of Auxiliary Bishops Timothy Freyer and Thanh Thai Nguyen, and the Diocese of Orange, I would like to publicly acknowledge the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as the new Archbishop of Washington, D.C. I will let him know that we join with him in offering our best wishes, congratulations and promise of prayer as he assumes this most critical and significant appointment in the life of the Church in our time here in the United States.
Years ago, when I would make regular trips to Chicago to work on the Interdiocesan Court of Appeal for the Province of Chicago, I often would run into then–Bishop Gregory either at Holy Name Cathedral or other archdiocesan gatherings. I got to know him better when he was assigned as Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, which was right below my home Diocese of Springfield. I saw first-hand how he handled so many challenges in those days with confidence, grace and as a pastor above all else. And having a chance to visit with him at the various meetings of the Bishops Conference has always been a great blessing.
As the Lenten season begins to draw to a close and the celebration and season of the Resurrection of the Lord will soon be upon us, Archbishop Gregory, I know, has the support, prayers and encouragement of all of the Lord’s people here in the Diocese of Orange.
Gratefully yours in the Lord,
Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, J.C.D., D.D.
Bishop of Orange, California, U.S.A.