Deep in the heart of Texas, a campus chaplain is busy making his final spiritual and practical preparations for becoming a bishop.
However, unlike many of his soon-to-be brother-bishops, Fr. David Konderla is carving his very own staff – or crosier – to signify his new position and duty as a teacher and head of a diocese.
“Every Jedi has not completed his training until he’s made his own light saber that he uses to fight evil with – so this is my light saber,” Bishop-elect David Konderla told CNA in an interview.
On June 29, Fr. David Konderla will be ordained and installed as the Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently, the Bishop-elect serves as the Director of Campus Ministry for St. Mary’s Catholic Center, the campus chaplaincy for Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
A crosier is a hooked staff – based on the shape of a shepherd’s staff – carried by bishops in the Catholic Church to symbolize their pastoral function in the Church. Other important symbols of a bishop’s position are the pectoral cross worn on a bishop’s chest, the mitre- or hat, and the episcopal ring.
“Of course it was natural when I found out I was going to be made a bishop that I would want to make my own myself,” Fr. Konderla said.
He noted that he’s already made four crosiers in the past for his soon-to-be brother bishops: Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Bishop George Sheltz, Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas; Bishop Mark Joseph Seitz of El Paso, Texas; and Bishop Daniel Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop of Austin, Texas.
Bishop-elect Konderla’s own crosier will be the fifth he’ll construct.
Previously, Fr. Konderla has used wood that bears special significance to the bishop-elect in constructing the crosier. For instance, when making the crosier for Bishop Seitz, Fr. Konderla used the wood from the front yard of the rectory at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, where they were both serving as priests at the time.
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