On the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist, our Holy Church entered into a new reality. The Very Rev. Paul Sobiechowski was consecrated to the office of bishop in the Holy Polish National Catholic Church. Bishop elect Paul chose Rev. Stanley Bilinski and Rev. Raymond Drada as his chaplains. The principal consecrator was the Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Mikovsky, Prime Bishop of the PNCC. All bishops of the PNCC, active and retired were co-consecrators. Prime Bishop Mikovsky celebrated the Holy Mass assisted by Rev. Bruce Sleczkowski as deacon and Rev. Gregory MÅ‚udzik as subdeacon of the Mass. The readings and Holy Gospel were proclaimed in English, Polish, and Spanish. As part of the consecration rite, bishop-elect Paul chose to sign the Declaration of Scranton, which was first signed by our organizer, Bishop Francis Hodur, and signed by every bishop candidate ever since. Over 400 faithful participated in the Holy Mass.
Significant not only in its ritual and celebration, the Holy Rite was witnessed by ecumenical clergy from various jurisdictions from around the globe: Bishop TIKHON of the Orthodox Church in America; Most Rev. James C. Timlin, retired bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Scranton diocese; Rt. Rev. Richard W. Lipka, from the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), with whom we have recently sought dialogue; and Abbot-elect Luis A. Gonzalez, OSB, also of ACNA, whom Bishop Paul will witness his installation at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Bartonville, Illinois. These present were significant in showing the viability the PNCC has within the ecumenical world, as well as its place in the community of Christian Churches.
The ritual was performed with the utmost dignity and jubilation. Deacon Konicki was of assistance to the National Liturgical Commission helping in procession and sanctuary logistics.
Following his consecration, Bishop Paul becomes the Diocesan Ordinary of the Eastern Diocese. He plans to be in residence sometime prior to the Christmas holiday.
Please continue to pray for him, his family, and his ministry.