YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday was a big day for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. Reverend David Bonnar was ordained as the sixth bishop of the city.
A Mass of Ordination and Installation took place at 2 p.m.
His ordination had all the pomp and tradition of a major Catholic ceremony — the choir, the incense, the other bishops in their regal vestments.
Missing though were the people — the flock which the bishop has been assigned to shepherd. COVID-19 restrictions limited the crowd to just 85.
Bishop Bonnar entered St. Columba Cathedral wearing a violet bishop’s cap, leading his fellow bishops to the altar.
During the Homily, his former boss, Bishop David Zubick of Pittsburgh, reminded Bishop Bonnar that he needs to heal the victims of abuse.
“And in so doing to express genuine contrition for any and all who have been hurt by the church,” Bishop Zubick said.
Bishop Bonnar’s ordination included him letting the audience witness the letter from the pope naming him bishop.
He also prostrated on the floor, symbolizing he is but a humble servant of God.
All the bishops in attendance laid their hands on his head. He was blessed with the Holy Chrism and received the mitre and staff — two of the most important symbols that make him a bishop.
He was then seated in the bishop’s chair to another applause.
“The biggest moment in my life. It’s the fullness of priesthood and it was quite emotional when I was prostrating on the ground,” Bishop Bonnar said.
After his installation, Bishop Bonnar became the primary celebrant, leading the Mass through the Consecration.
Afterward, he greeted the few people who were allowed to attend, knowing full well the burdens and challenges that face him.
“We had a rehearsal here yesterday and we rehearsed — the archbishop taking me to the chair to occupy my new seat, my new position, the Cathedra. When I sat in that chair, it was overwhelmingly emotional,” Bishop Bonnar said.
The theme of the Mass was unity, and the former chaplain of the Pittsburgh Steelers showed his unifying qualities when he addressed the Browns’ win over the Steelers.
“I’m happy for the Browns and I wish the Browns all the best. I hope they go to the Super Bowl,” Bishop Bonnar said.