March 11, 2011

Bishop Coyne feels welcomed, wants to minister on the Internet

By Sean Gallagher

Following his March 2 ordination as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne met with members of the news media who were on hand for the historic liturgy.

Bishop Coyne told reporters that as he was lying prostrate on the floor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis during the praying of the Litany of the Saints minutes before he was ordained, he “felt very embraced by the prayer and the worship of the people around me.”

The spiritual embrace that Bishop Coyne experienced during that ritual matched the welcome he said he has received since moving to Indianapolis a week before his ordination.

“I haven’t had one person come up to me [who hasn’t said], ‘Welcome to Indianapolis. We’re so glad that you’re here,’ ” he said. “I think a lot of it is because they love Archbishop Daniel, and they recognize that he can’t do it on his own. They’re just so glad that someone is coming out to help him.

“But I also think that they love their Church, and I think they see in an auxiliary [bishop] coming to Indianapolis to help the work of the Church some encouragement for the work that we continue to do here.”

Bishop Coyne said he hopes to continue that work in part through ministering on the Internet via his blog and audio podcasts. A link to his blog is posted online at

“We want to baptize the Internet,” Bishop Coyne said. “We have to have a catechumenate before you can have a baptism. So we’re going to talk about how you begin to convert some parts of the Internet so that you can spread the Good News.”

Bishop Coyne will live at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, which has become a hub for young adult ministry in the city.

He spoke about how the Internet is an important means to get Catholics in their 20s and 30s more connected to their faith and the Church.

“That’s how we need to reach out to people more and more,” he said, “through communication avenues that are available to us, especially things like the Internet.”

Toward the end of the press conference, Bishop Coyne was asked if he felt like a bishop now.

“My heart is the heart of a priest still,” he said. “But I’m a bishop now. What that means really hasn’t sunk in yet. But the heart of a pastor—the heart of a priest—to take that one step further is going to take time.” †

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