Celebrating Ten Years Begins With Giving Thanks
By Bishop David J. Malloy
A little more than 10 years ago, the phone rang in my office at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where I was serving as pastor. The caller identified himself as the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s representative to the United States. He informed me that then-Pope Benedict XVI had appointed me to succeed Bishop Thomas G. Doran as Bishop of Rockford.
Saturday, May 14th, will be the 10th anniversary of my episcopal consecration and installation which followed that phone call. Like any milestone such as a birthday or even the beginning of a New Year, it is good to stop and reflect on all that has taken place and what can be learned from reflecting back.
The past 10 years have, of course, been filled with challenges. Our society is becoming increasingly secular and even hostile to faith and especially to the Catholic Church. The Church Herself is going through a turbulent period. And we have most recently lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike any global event in anyone’s living memory.
Still, it is not the challenges alone that are most defining for us. It is also the response to them that God wants from us. As people of faith, challenges call forth our trust in God and our reliance on His grace in both our joys and our sorrows.
In this context, my reaction to this 10th anniversary is to give thanks. And to give thanks for so many gifts God has given me in that time.
First, I thank God for having called me to serve the Diocese of Rockford. This is my home and the faithful have received me with great kindness since the day of my installation. Even more, I have the conviction that this is where God wants me to be. He  has placed me here as Bishop without any effort on my part. And so, in gratitude to God, I am here to serve.
I am grateful for the priests of the diocese. I think of the newly ordained over the last 10 years and am grateful for their enthusiasm, fidelity and optimism for the future. I think of those at mid-life in their priesthood and appreciate the way they maximize their gifts of energy and experience. And I give thanks for the senior priests and their many past contributions and those who continue to offer their priesthood in so many parishes and circumstances, especially in prayer.
I give thanks for the permanent deacons. They too have been called and ordained to serve the Church and the faithful.
I give thanks for all the religious men and women who live and work in the diocese. In a special way I thank the Benedictines at Marmion Abbey for their spiritual presence, and the Poor Clares in Rockford who, for nearly a century, have prayed for the Church in this diocese.
I give thanks to the staff at the Chancery. I know well of my need for their help and expertise. In the same way I give thanks for all the parish staffs, teachers and principals at our schools and our in our religious education programs.
I give thanks also to so many of those dedicated to service in the Church like the Knights of Columbus, members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, parish women’s groups, and all those who volunteer to serve in lay apostolates or on diocesan and parish councils and commissions. The Church is stronger for your considerable and varied efforts. Most especially, I give thanks for all of the laity in this diocese. Whether you are part of the Anglo, Polish, Filipino, Hispanic communities, or any of the other cultural or ethnic groups, it is your faith that is at the heart of the Church and of the diocese. I appreciate all your efforts and all your prayers.
On Saturday, May 14, I will offer in thanksgiving the 4:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter Parish, Rockford for all the graces given to us all over the last 10 years. This Mass will also be streamed live on the Diocese of Rockford YouTube Channel and Facebook page. Afterwards, there will be a reception that will give me the opportunity to thank people personally. 
Then, on Sunday, May 15, I will offer my thanks again at a 4 p.m. Mass in Spanish at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Aurora with a reception to follow. I invite you to join me on either occasion to join in my prayer of gratitude. 
I join with St. Paul who wrote to the Philippians, “I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil 1: 3-5). I ask for your continuing prayers for the coming years of my service as Bishop. Please know of my prayers for you.
Most Reverend David J. Malloy, 
D.D., J.C.L., S.T.D.
Ninth Bishop of Rockford