Fr. Joseph Johnson, the priest who was the main celebrant at my wedding, was just appointed rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul. You can definitely expect all kinds of good things to be happening at the Cathedral.
Here's an interview of him by the Star Tribune. This quip from that interview is quintissential Fr. Joseph. When asked if he considers Minnesota home now (he's a reluctant Texas transplant), he replied: "It's as close as any place on Earth to being home. I made a deal with the Lord -- I'd offer up my time in this cold place for a shorter stay in purgatory." I can just see the grin on his face as he said it.
One other quote also is a perfect illustration of his incredible pastoral sensibility. The Cathedral is where all the action is, at least with regard to public protests. It really requires careful handling to offer solid orthodox catechesis and liturgies, while being welcoming to all and yet not pandering to the whims of special interest groups who dissent from church teaching and want to turn Cathedral liturgies into protest events. Fr. Joseph is the man for the job. For sure. Notice his response, when asked about how the Cathedral can be a unifying place, when there are varying opinions within churchgoers:
Sadly, we are all too good at making divisions, and we can't pretend divisions aren't there. But they weren't put there by God. ... The cathedral is a place where we can realize that peace and unity only happen in our own hearts as much as each of us is willing to give up what it is that's an obstacle to love of God and neighbor.He doesn't deny the divisions, yet he doesn't point fingers either. He states the truth: each and every one of us have obstacles that we hold onto that prevent us from growing in love of God.
One thing is for certain: with Fr. Joseph, everyone will be challenged to embrace Christ and conform their lives to his will for them. And yes, that does include dissenters...