Madison’s new bishop takes up assignment with enthusiasm, gratitude

| Kevin Wondrash | April 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Bishop Donald Hying addresses the media during a news conference in Madison, Wis., April 25, 2019, after Pope Francis named him bishop of the diocese that day. Bishop Hying, 55, a native of Wisconsin, had served as bishop of Gary, Ind., since 2015.

Bishop Donald Hying addresses the media during a news conference in Madison, Wis., April 25, 2019, after Pope Francis named him bishop of the diocese that day. Bishop Hying, 55, a native of Wisconsin, had served as bishop of Gary, Ind., since 2015. CNS photo/Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald photo

“I’m very enthused, excited and grateful to be here,” Bishop Donald J. Hying, the newly named bishop of Madison, said at an April 25 news conference.

The bishop, who has headed the Diocese of Gary, Indiana, since 2015, has many relatives in the Diocese of Madison and has spent a lot of time there over the years.

“I feel very much at home here. I have great memories of southwest Wisconsin,” he added. “The beauty of the faith, here, the beauty of the land, here.”

He was introduced at the news conference at the diocesan pastoral center and will be installed June 25 at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison.

Bishop Hying will fill the vacancy left by the death of Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison last November.

“It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude that I come to you, today, as the new leader, the bishop of Madison, to build on the great foundation of Bishop Morlino,” the newly appointed bishop said.

He described Madison as “a significant community” especially because it is the capital of the state and home to the University of Wisconsin.

“I feel very much at home here. I have great memories of southwest Wisconsin,” he added. “The beauty of the faith, here, the beauty of the land, here.”

“There’s a great significance to what happens in this city and in this diocese. I’m very grateful to be a part of it,” he added.

When asked about the diversity of opinions on issues in Madison, Bishop Hying said he will focus on a fusion of “love and truth.” “Truth without love becomes harsh, rigid, judgmental,” he said. “Love without truth becomes sentimental and kind of just devoid of content.”

He said combining the two unleashes the “firepower of the Gospel,” adding that the church’s mission “is always to speak the truth that God has revealed to us but do so with love and compassion.”

He also reiterated the dignity and importance of everyone in the church.

“Everyone from the pope to the newest baptized baby is of equal importance in the church,” said Bishop Hying, while noting everyone has different roles. “No one is less important or more important.”

He said he wants to meet with every priest and deacon in the diocese and visit every parish, school and community in the next year.

Wondrash is a reporter at the Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Madison.

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