Archbishop’s message of unity resounds
at Region VII welcoming Mass

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre preached June 2 at St. Patrick Church during the Region VII welcoming Mass. Throughout May and June, the new archbishop is visiting each region to meet and greet the people of the archdiocese. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

In the nine weeks Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre has been at the helm of the Archdiocese of Louisville, he has reiterated a message of unity in his homilies — we are all in this together and we must remember that we are God’s people.

Mandy Kumler, coordinator of youth ministry and a parishioner of St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky., attended the Region VII welcoming Mass at St. Patrick Church in Eastwood June 2. She said Archbishop Fabre has delivered that same message on the other occasions she’s encountered him, including Confirmation at St. Aloysius and his installation Mass in March.

“He keeps reiterating, ‘It’s not about me, it’s about we,’ ” she said. “It’s nice to hear that continual theme.”

The message of unity is especially important during times of transition, Archbishop Fabre said. The big transition in his life — moving from Louisiana to Kentucky to become the Archbishop of Louisville — is not his transition alone.

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre prayed during a welcoming Mass for Region VII celebrated at St. Patrick Church June 2. It was the seventh of 11 regional Masses the new archbishop has planned to take him to different regions of the Archdiocese of Louisville. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

“I’ve been sent here to this archdiocese to serve you, but it’s not only about how I am affected but about how all of us together are affected,” he said during his homily. “This is a time of transition in my life but it’s also a transition in your life.”

The archbishop added, “I want to sincerely thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the enthusiasm and the warmth of the reception that I have received since I arrived here in Louisville.”

Jay Stuart, a parishioner of Epiphany Church, said he thinks periods of transition are constant but that he’s looking forward to the archbishop’s full integration into the Archdiocese of Louisville.

“It sounds like he’s a true servant leader, very faith-filled and has great hope for his ministry here,” Stuart said.

He and his wife, Julie Stuart, attended the welcoming Mass because they wanted to welcome Archbishop Fabre to Louisville and be able to greet him.

Following Mass at St. Patrick Church, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre met with his listeners to meet the people of Region VII parishes. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

Two St. Patrick parishioners, Lourdes Baez and Denise Homsher, attended because they “wanted to see who the Holy Spirit chose for us,” Baez said.

“I really appreciated his message of the challenge of transitions but he reminded us that God’s with us and he reminded us of Scripture that supports that,” she said.

In his homily, Archbishop Fabre quoted passages from the prophet Isaiah and St. Paul, highlighting a message about love from St. Paul.
“If you want to be perfect, then love, because love is the bond of perfection,” the archbishop said. God calls us to “ ‘love one another as I have loved you’ ” and that he “stretches us and calls us to a higher standard.”

Retired Deacon Charlie Brown, a parishioner of Epiphany, said his favorite part of Archbishop Fabre’s message was that “we need to carry on the faith.”

“I was touched by his humble acceptance. He comes across as very welcoming, sincere and cheerful,” Deacon Brown said.

His wife, Fran Brown, echoed the sentiment, and added, “There’s so much conflict and disagreement in the world. My hope is we can come to a consensus and I definitely think he will help us with that.”

“He seemed to have good leadership skills in the past. I expect those to continue and that he’ll bring people together despite differing opinions,” she said.

Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre greeted parishioners from Region VII after a welcoming Mass June 2. (Record Photo by Kayla Bennett)

Kumler noted that Archbishop Fabre is “continually calling us to pray for him and he’s praying for us.”

“He makes it about the collective,” she said. “There’s no question where he stands on that.”

Region VII is composed of St. Albert the Great Church, St. Aloysius in Pewee Valley, Annunciation Church in Shelbyville, St. Bernadette Church in Prospect, Epiphany, Immaculate Conception Church in La Grange, St. John Chrysostom Church in Eminence, St. Margaret Mary Church and St. Patrick. The next regional welcoming Mass will be in Region IV at St. Stephen Martyr Church, 2931 Pindell Ave., June 21 at 6 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *