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Watch Bishop Terry R. LaValley's Press Conference.

Statement of Bishop
Terry R. LaValley

February 23, 2010

Good morning!  Thank you, Msgr. Lawler.  I extend greetings to all the people of the Diocese of Ogdensburg: my brother priests, deacons, religious, lay faithful and to all our neighbors who call the North Country “home.”  This morning, my heart overflows with words of joy and gratitude.  It’s true:  Pope Benedict XVI has chosen me to shepherd the good people of the North Country.

Answering Jesus’ invitation to His disciples, “Follow Me,” I humbly and so gratefully accept the appointment for me to serve as the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg.   With fraternal love and deep affection, I promise our Holy Father my loving obedience and, through God’s grace, the faithful ministry of a shepherd’s love to all those entrusted to my care.

I stand before you today as the successor of truly remarkable men of God who have served the people of our diocese so very faithfully over the last 138 years.  Bishop Brzana, Bishop Loverde, Bishop Barbarito, and most, recently Bishop Cunningham, have all inspired and impacted my priesthood in powerful ways.  Each has tenderly touched the hearts of the people of the North Country, sharing Christ’s love in abundance.  I pray that I might imitate their example.

My eagerness to serve the Diocese of Ogdensburg in this new responsibility as our next bishop is fueled by my great respect for the faithful, hard-working priests with whom I share the ministry of the priesthood.  I assure them of my continual prayers as we together serve the pastoral needs of our sisters and brothers.

We are indebted to our dedicated deacons, religious, and lay faithful who are all so essential to the growth and vitality of this local Church.

The North Country is home for me.  Blessed with hard-working, faith-filled parents and one of six children, I was born and raised in the Champlain Valley.  Spending most of my life in the Champlain and St. Lawrence Valleys, it’s no wonder my last name is LaValley.  But, through that lived experience among you, I am keenly aware of the tremendous gift that God has entrusted to me and only through the daily fervent prayers of our diocesan family, will the struggles that are unique to our part of the world become occasions for growth and holiness.

Christ beckons each of us: “Follow Me.”  Hope-filled pilgrims of faith that we are, let us confidently begin this new phase of our faith journey.  I thank the Holy Father for his trust in my leadership of that journey with you, my sisters and brothers.  This servant stands before you today pledging you my best efforts to help us all get to heaven. On Friday, April 30, 2010 I will be ordained bishop and installed as the next bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg.  May the powerful intercession of our patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, enable me to be your faithful, devoted servant.  Please pray for me as I pray for you.  THANK YOU!

Bishop LaValley

Bishop Lavalley

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