Bishop Tylka’s remarks on the occasion of his episcopal ordination July 23, 2020
As we conclude this beautiful liturgy of my ordination as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, I want to take a brief moment to try to express my heart to you. I am filled with great joy and tremendous gratitude today.
The great joy comes from knowing that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the Church, gathering us all together to participate in this moment of grace for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and in my own life.
The profound gratitude I feel in this moment is for so many blessings that God has shown me. I am thankful for our Holy Father, Pope Francis — for his extraordinary shepherding of our Chuirch and for his confidence and trust in me by calling me to serve as Bishop of Peoria. I pledge my unending fidelity to him as the Successor of Peter and entrust him daily to the Lord in my prayers.
I am grateful for the guidance and support of Cardinal Cupich, for his encouragement of me and the example of service to the Church. I have learned a great deal from him these last six years that he served as my Archbishop.
I am thankful for the presence here today and for the generous service of the Apostolic Nuncio, Christophe Pierre. Two years ago I was privileged to sit next to him at a lunch for the new Auxiliary Bishops of Chicago and in the conversation over that meal I was so impressed by his love for the Church and willingness to offer himself so generously to all of us.
I am thankful for Bishop Jenky, our local shepherd for the last 18 years. For his warm and gracious welcome to me, his dedication to this local Church which he loves so deeply, and the reassurance he has offered me in this transition.
I am filled with gratitude for my family, who are the greatest gift God has blessed me with. I have said as I began each of my priestly assignments, “You’re not getting just me, you’re getting my family as well.” This now is where I apologize in advance for them, and suggest you may have wanted to vet them more than me. But in all honesty, my family means the world to me — they have always given me unconditional love and support. And I know in my heart that today Mom and Mary Lou are smiling down upon us as they are very much with us today.
I am also thankful for the many close friends and parishioners who enrich my life. Your presence today – both in this magnificent cathedral and virtually – touches me deeply, knowing that we will will always walk together on this journey of faith.
I am so grateful for all who worked so hard to make this celebration happen. You have been so generous with your time and gifts.
Lastly, I am so thankful for the Church in the Diocese of Peoria, especially her priests. From the moment I first received word of my appointment, you have all been in my prayers and in my heart. Your warm welcome and the love and support you have already shown to me and my family — especially in the difficulty of my sister’s cancer battle and going home to God — has proven the goodness of God which I see in you.
Mis hermonos y hermanas, estoy lleno de gozo y agradicimiento (a gra dicimiento) por los bendiciones de Dios en esta dia. No tengo much espanol, pero quiero compartir que mi gozo y agradiceimiento incluge a ustedes, pueien hablan espanol. O hala que en el future, ustedes pueden ayudarme hablar major, para conocer sus corazones y fe n nuestro Senor Jesus. Que Dios te bendiga.
(My sisters and brothers — I am filled with great joy and gratitude for the many blessings of God on this day. While my Spanish is limited, I want to share that my joy and gratitude includes you. I pray that going forward you will help me to learn to speak your language better, which is far more than the ability to speak Spanish, but is more so the ability to share your hearts and faith with the Church.)
This joy and this gratitude is a treasure that I will hold forever. It also is what inspires me to go forward. Together, walking the road of faith, recognizing the grace of Jesus walking with us, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, following the example of the Blessed Mother, let us take up anew our own mission the Lord has given us. Let us “Go Make Disciples!”