Bishop Galante expresses his gratitude

Bishop Galante expresses his gratitude

galante.jpg_copyPhoto by James A. McBride

When Bishop Joseph Galante stepped up to the microphone on Jan. 8, he had two purposes in mind: to introduce and welcome Bishop Dennis Sullivan, who will replace him as bishop of Camden, and to express his gratitude to those he has worked with and served.

“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the priests, deacons, religious and our faithful and faith-filled lay women and men and young people of our diocese. I offer my most sincere gratitude to my close collaborators on the diocesan staff,” he said.

“Over the 20 years that I have been a bishop,” he added, “these past eight years and nine months have been my happiest, thanks to you all.”

Bishop Galante explained that he has been on dialysis as a result of end stage renal failure – and he described his illness as “a blessing.” The experience, he said, has helped deepen his prayer life and his relationship with God.

“God has blessed me tremendously, and I feel that maybe the most effective work I’ve done has been being hooked up to the machine and offering all of that, along with my other aches and pains, for the good of the church in South Jersey and those that I love.”

The bishop also discussed briefly the parish mergers that have taken place during his tenure, saying that overall he was happy with the process and optimistic for the future.

“We have some wonderful, wonderful examples of merged parishes that have really brought a new enthusiasm, a new vitality,” he said.

A native of Philadelphia, Bishop Galante was ordained in 1964 and served in the archdiocese until he was named by Pope John Paul II in 1986 to be undersecretary for the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, now called the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

He was named auxiliary bishop of San Antonio in 1992 and in 1994 became bishop of Beaumont, Texas, before serving as coadjutor bishop of Dallas beginning 2000. He returned to the East Coast in 2004 when he was named bishop of Camden.

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