The following tributes to Bishop Martin Amos took place at a dinner with the priests of the Diocese of Davenport, after the Chrism Mass on April 3.
Chrism Mass Banquet Blessing
(Let us pray. . .)
Loving God, when we gather we remember all the ways your love has blessed us.
We thank you for the gift of your priesthood which you share with deacons, presbyters and bishops.
When we needed a shepherd to lift us from our depths you sent a pastor, Martin Amos, to bring your healing for our woundedness.
We praise you for his love which led him to accept our crosses and make them his own.
We bless you for all the ways you are continually present in the community of the Church and the brotherhood of the priesthood.
We rejoice in this gathering as we approach the Sacred Triduum. May this celebration be a preview of the heavenly banquet feast. Through
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(Fr. Stephen Ebel, a retired priest of the diocese, wrote this blessing.)
Anticipation while waiting for a new bishop
By Msgr. John Hyland
Perhaps the best theme for what I will say is “ANTICIPATION.” That is the mood among chancery staff, priests and parishioners today. Who will we get as our next bishop? What will he be like? Will we be able to work with him? And I am sure more questions than these. But, you know, that was the same mood 11 years ago as we were awaiting our next bishop who would follow Bishop (William) Franklin.
ANTICIPATION and a whole lot of questions. Eleven years later we can all say that we were truly blessed to receive you as our bishop. In the years you have been with us you have pastored the diocese with untiring energy. I have witnessed this serving as your vicar general. Outside the countless daily meetings, you have been, when asked, present for so many parish celebrations, however large or small, oftentimes arriving home late at night. Your visits and offering Mass at all of our Catholic schools has been much appreciated.
You offered a pre-Christmas Mass a couple of years ago at the federal prison in Fort Madison and developed a friendship with a prisoner who you communicated with since then and most recently attended his high school graduation at the prison. You went to parishes when you were free on a weekend to help a priest who was ill or on vacation. I could relate many other things, but all in all, the most important is that all of us here truly appreciated your ministry, your enthusiasm, your loud laugh, your joyful mood and your caring for all of us.
On a personal note, when you appointed me vicar general we agreed that after one year if either of us thought we could not work together I would return to parish work and you would appoint a new vicar general. It did work out and I had many years of happiness in serving in this capacity and I appreciate the friendship that we developed.
I would ask all to please stand! As one of two toasts: Bishop, we wish you good health and happiness not only now but wherever your future ministry leads you, but most of all our love and prayers.
Praising God for Bishop’s ministry
By Fr. Tony Herold
Dear Friends, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher writes the following verses:
“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to seek, and a time to lose ….”
Bishop (Martin) Amos, chances are, sometime in the next several months you will be laying down your pastoral staff. Today, therefore, we want to acknowledge the impact your ministry has had on us in the Diocese of Davenport; a time to be grateful for your pastoral concern and pastoral presence these past years, and a time to look forward; a time for joy, and a time for sadness. It is a time to give thanks and praise to Almighty God for what you have given us in our lives together.
Bishop Amos, you were called to be our chief pastor and shepherd, to proclaim God’s Word and celebrate the sacraments, to ordain our deacons and priests and encourage and promote lay ministries, to interpret the Gospel for us and maintain the unity of the church. You have provided leadership and guidance for us in the spirit of Christ. You have challenged us with the Gospel mission as our bishop. You have helped us to mark our direction and encouraged us on our way. Together we have served the Lord and his church in common devotion to the Gospel. Sharing in our joys and sorrows, you have been important to us in our life together in the church of Jesus Christ.
We continue to praise God for your ministry and we ask God’s continued blessings on you … Ad Multos Annos ….
(Fr. Herold is the diocese’s vicar general and pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport.)