Well, in a real sense from the fons et origo of the Catholic Church in the United States, the Basilica of the Assumption, Baltimore. On Friday, Nov. 15, after the conclusion of the USCCB Fall Assembly, there was a wonderful ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Albert Scharbach. Fr. Al was ordained by his boss, Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in what has been called “America’s most historic place of worship.”
Fr. Scharbach had previously served as curate at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, before his reception into the Catholic Church several years ago. He has been serving as secretary to Bishop Madden, who significantly heads the USCCB’s Committee on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs. Fr. Al and his wife Abby and their delightful family have been wonderful ambassadors for our patrimony.
I could not help but think of the remarkable Bishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in America, who laid the foundation stone of the basilica in 1806 and who is buried in the crypt. Bishop Carroll won a noble battle against “lay trusteeism” and for Catholic order. The one part of our patrimony that we had to leave behind – the vestry system – has its roots in this story, which you can read in a fascinating address by Cardinal Dolan here.
I am very grateful to Ms. Renata Grzan Wieczorek for sharing these photographs from her professional portfolio. We had a great turnout of Ordinariate clergy plus many priests from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.