Rapid City Bishop has emotional goodbye

The Rapid City Journal reported yesterday that Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, S.D. had an emotional goodbye to his diocese on Sunday as he celebrated his last Mass before moving to the Diocese of Spokane.

From the piece:

"I doubt there's a person in this room who didn't know this day was coming," Deacon John Osnes said during an emotional reception in the fellowship hall attended by hundreds of people.

Osnes said it has always been obvious to him that Cupich had "greater talents than the needs of this South Dakota diocese."

That those "Nebraska-born, Dakota-grown" gifts would be shared with the people of Spokane didn't make saying goodbye to Cupich any easier for Julie Mousel, who attended her second Mass of the weekend just to bid her shepherd farewell.

"I'm sad. I'm so sad," Mousel said.

It was fitting that the bishop's final Sunday sermon in his home cathedral - which is named for the Virgin Mary - was celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption. The feast day is named for a Catholic doctrine that says the mother of Jesus Christ was assumed bodily into heaven. And his sermon was also characteristic of Cupich. Instead of using the occasion to reflect on his time in Rapid City, he chose to preach a spiritual lesson on emulating Mary as a disciple of Christ.

"I could give you the top 10 accomplishments or the top 10 mistakes of my time here but you know both so well already," he said.

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