CS PHOTOS BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN Bishop Barry. C. Knestout receives the crosier during his Jan. 12 installation Mass as the thirteenth bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, VA. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 2008 to 2018.
CS PHOTOS BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN Bishop Barry. C. Knestout receives the crosier during his Jan. 12 installation Mass as the thirteenth bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, VA. He served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 2008 to 2018.

Bishop Barry Knestout, the former auxiliary bishop of Washington, was installed Jan. 12 as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Richmond.

"I want to share with you my gratitude to God," said Bishop Knestout. "Now I embrace a new family- the family of faith of Richmond.”

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, read Pope Francis’s mandate appointing Bishop Knestout as the bishop of Richmond.

Bishop Knestout then presented the mandate to diocesan officials and to the faithful of the Diocese of Richmond, who gave their new bishop a hearty round of applause.

Concelebrants of the Mass included Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, the principal celebrant; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington; more than a dozen other bishops and close to 200 priests.

“We have every confidence you will fulfill the special sentiments Pope Francis has for the people in your care,” Archbishop Pierre said after reading the papal mandate.

After the mandate was read, Bishop Knestout was presented with a crosier, his shepherd’s staff, and escorted to his cathedra, his bishop’s chair – the symbols of his authority.

The crowd who packed Richmond’s cathedral to witness the installation burst into cheers and gave a standing ovation as the new bishop of Richmond assumed his post.

He was then welcomed by representatives of his new diocese, the clergy, men and women religious, seminarians, the laity and by members of other faiths in the city of Richmond.

In his first homily to his new flock, Bishop Knestout said, “Christ’s vision is the foundation of my priesthood and my service to you.”

He promised that he would offer the people of Richmond a “pastoral ministry born of love,” and called the faithful of his new diocese to have a special care for the young, the unborn, the stranger, the poor, the sick, and the elderly.

An overflow crowd of more than 1,200 people – including Bishop Knestout‘s mother and many members of his family – filled the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for the liturgy.

The solemn installation of Bishop Knestout was also attended by civic leaders and local government officials.

Msgr. Mark Lane, who served as diocesan administrator since the death last August of Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, told Bishop Knestout, “we have great confidence and hope that your ministry will bear great fruit. We ask that you guide us and lead us to the kingdom of God.”

Bishop Knestout reminded his flock that “only God can satisfy the longings of our heart,” and told them that his job would be “to speak the truth that God utters.”

“I look forward to serving you,” he added.

He also told his “brother priests” of the diocese of Richmond that he looks forward to “a very long collaboration with them.”