As the Advent Season begins this Sunday, we do so with sorrowful hearts at the death
of the Most Rev. Robert Charles Morlino, our beloved bishop, the chief shepherd of our
diocese. He died on November 24 at 9:15pm, the eve of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the
King, and will be dearly missed by many people throughout the world. (Please see our “In Memoriam” article in this bulletin.) In the 19 years that I was blessed to know Bishop
Morlino, he clearly showed in his words and deeds that he truly had the heart of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
As we hear the Gospel of Saint Luke this Sunday (21:25-36), may we think of Bishop
Morlino as one of those who trusted completely in God’s love and mercy and looked for
and awaited his redemption, and not one who was afraid of what was coming. By God’s
grace, Bishop Morlino was humbly self-aware, prayerful, and faithful to God, and knew that he was a sinner in need every day of the Only Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead. He trusted in Jesus completely and knew that Our Lord would not reject anyone who would sincerely come to Him ( John 6:37). He knew well that we all needed to keep our heads raised in faith, hope and love, and to trust in God and His Vision for us. His motto was Visus non mentietur, “The Vision will not disappoint” (Habakkuk 2:3). Let us continue our prayers of thanksgiving to God for Bishop Morlino and all the good that He did through him, and for the repose of his soul, that he is resting in eternal peace, joy and love in Heaven with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and all of God’s angels and saints.
This Advent, may we renew our trust in God and strive to follow Him, evermore prayerfully and faithfully awaiting the Lord’s coming as we celebrate His birthday this Christmas. May we celebrate His daily coming into our life through His Church, Word and Sacraments, and be ready for His Second Coming at the end of time. Jesus tells us this Sunday to pray for God’s strength to stand before the Son of Man, to be vigilant at all times. May we follow Jesus’ instruction in peaceful certainty before Him (1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2), going to Him in the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist, experiencing God’s grace, strength and healing Presence, the Vision that will not disappoint. And may He bring us all to Life Eternal in Heaven.
With peace and prayers in Christ,