Monday July 22, 2019
6:30 pm

FAREWELL BISHOP DONALD J. HYING Bishop’s last Masses bring together faithful in gratitude and thanksgiving

Farewell Hying 1

Bishop Donald J. Hying blesses the faithful as he processes out of Holy Angels Cathedral at the conclusion of his farewell Mass in Gary on June 23. Bishop Hying was installed as the fifth Bishop of Madison, Wisc., at St. Maria Goretti in Madison on June 25. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

by Marlene A. Zloza, Anthony D. Alonzo and Bob Wellinski

Northwest Indiana Catholic

     

      It was only fitting for a bishop whose trademark is being out among his faithful throughout the Diocese of Gary that Bishop Donald J. Hying marked his departure to lead the Diocese of Madison with a series of farewell Masses that took him from a Spanish liturgy at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond on June 15 to Queen of All Saints in Michigan City on June 22 to the Cathedral of the Holy Angels in Gary, where he has made his home for the past 4-1/2 years, on June 23.

      Celebrating Corpus Christi Sunday at Holy Angels, the bishop centered his homily on one of his favorite subjects, the Holy Eucharist. “Before Jesus’ horrible death, he was thinking of us – ‘What can I leave them so they’ll know I’m still with them after I leave?’ and he came up with the Eucharist.

      “It was an honor to hear his words and experience this Mass,” said cathedral choir member Elizabeth Kerr of St. Patrick in Chesterton. “Talk about a good shepherd – he’s so humble and has such a love for our Lord and the people of the diocese.”

      Another trademark has been Bishop Hying’s humor and storytelling that draw upon his own family and ministry, and so it was again as he recalled asking his mother at age four, “What happens when you go up to the Comm rail? ‘You will see the body of Jesus,’ she said. My mother was a great theologian, so when I asked her, ‘What happens if there’s not enough of Jesus left by the time I can receive comm?’ and she said, ‘There will always be enough of him to go around.’”

      At the end of Mass, the bishop acknowledged his departure, thanking those who had a part in the liturgy and those who attended. He implored the faithful, “Don’t let any obstacle discourage you from going forward with the synod work,” touching upon his biggest achievement in the diocese.     

         “He’s been a great bishop and brought in great evangelization with the synod,” said Frank Villarael, a synod participant from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Valparaiso. “I love the joy, exuberance and happiness that he brought. He tried to spread the Word and he has a passion for it.

      At Queen of All Saints, Father Kevin Huber spoke to the bishop from the heart. “I’m very grateful for all the great support and the love you’ve shown me - as he’s told me many times, he loves me - and tonight I’ll say it in front of everyone - I love you, too,” a choked up Father Huber exclaimed as some congregants wiped away tears.

      Rob Neary, a QAS parishioner, said Father Huber spoke for everyone. “Father’s way of expressing his love for the bishop was just a way of expressing our love for him as well. We had a treasure, and sooner or later we were going to have to share him.”

      Bishop Hying responded in kind. “Please know of my deep love for you and my deep gratitude. As I go forth from you, I just thank you in so many ways. . . you’ve carried me, sustained me, inspired me, prayed for me, loved me - for that I will always be grateful,” he said. “Please know you’ll always be in my heart and in my prayers. Although I’ll be in another state, in another diocese, you’ll always be with me because in the Church we’re always with each other because we’re in Christ.” With his patented humor, the bishop also extended an invitation to visit, noting that the Wisconsin Dells and the National Mustard Museum are nearby.

      The bishop said he “especially wanted to have a Mass here in Michigan City and LaPorte County because I always felt the eastern part of the diocese sometimes got overlooked. I always tried to come here often to affirm all of you, to say you’re an important part of the diocese.”

      Sister Jane Marie Klein, who chairs the Franciscan Alliance Foundation Board, echoed the thoughts of many. “We’re losing a wonderful, wonderful friend in Bishop Hying,” she stated. “He’s been so faithful, so supportive in everything we do in our hospitals. I’m blessed he’s been a part of my life.”   

      Erica Jimenez, director of religious education at Our Lady of Guadalupe in East Chicago, was one of several hundred attending Mass at BNI, where two of her children volunteered as altar servers. Asked what she will miss about Bishop Hying, she said “everything – his friendliness and holiness. He’s a great leader.” Jimenez praised the bishop’s commitment to reach people where they are, making countless visits to the faithful in different settings.

      Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1989, then-Father Hying spent three years in the mid-1990s with the ministry team for La Sagrada Familia parish in the Dominican Republic, and often described his immersive experience in Hispanic culture as a “crash course.”

      He alternated between English and Spanish in his homily, speaking about the infinite nature of God as incomprehensible, yet the Trinitarian nature of God as “perfectly three and perfectly one,” a simple reminder of the unity of believers. “We find this beautiful unity in the Church – the Church is our mother, the Church is our family,” he said.

      After two standing ovations, Bishop Hying told the audience he loved them all. Performed by Latino musicians and singers from area parishes, the choir serenaded Bishop Hying with “Amigo,” as he exited the field house, blessing and greeting the faithful.

 

Farewell Hying 2

Bishop Donald J. Hying delivers his homily at Holy Angels Cathedral at the during his farewell Mass in Gary on June 23. With the episcopal motto "Caritas Numquam Excidit," or "Love Never Fails," Bishop Hying was intalled as the fifth bishop of Madison on June 25. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

Farewell Hying 3

Corinne Zaborski (front) of Our Lady of Perpetual Help applauds at the words of Bishop Donald J. Hying during his farewell Mass at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on June 23. Zaborski, who said it was sad to see the bishop go but that she believes that God sends us where he wants us to be, was one of hundreds in attendance to see the bishop off before he was installed as Bishop of Madison, Wisc., at St. Maria Goretti in Madison on June 25. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

Farewell Hying 4

Bishop Donald J. Hying (left) accepts the Offertory gifts from Valerie McManus (center), executive assistant to the bishop, Kelly Venegas (second from right), diocesan director of human resources, and Mike Wick (right), diocesan chief of staff, during the bishop's farewell Mass at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on June 23. Bishop Hying, who was the fourth bishop of Gary, was installed as Bishop of Madison, Wisc., at St. Maria Goretti in Madison on June 25. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

Farewell Hying 5

Robert Moll, D.D.S., of Munster signs the guest book at a reception for Bishop Donald J. Hying after his farewell Mass at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on June 23. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

Farewell Hying 6

Bishop Donald J. Hying gives a final message at the end of Mass at Queen of All Saints Saturday June 22. The was one of his final Masses before leaving for Madison, Wisc. Also pictured are Deacons Michael Green (left) and Bob Bucheit (right of bishop), along with Fr. Kevin Huber (far right). (Bob Wellinski photo)

 

Farewell Hying 7

Bishop Donald J. Hying (center) raises the host as he concelebrates with Association of the Immaculate Conception Father Carlos Martinez (left) and Father Nestor Varon (right) during the farewell Mass in Spanish, at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond on June 15. The bishop who, is proficient in speaking Spanish, told the faithful that the Church is like a family and resembles the Trinitarian nature of God. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

Farewell Hying 8

As Bishop Donald J. Hying processes down the aisle, a man reaches to kiss the bishop's ring, at the conclusion of his farewell Mass in Spanish, at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond on June 15. The bishop who, is proficient in speaking Spanish, told the faithful that he loves them. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

Join The Flock

Flock Note