The coat of arms that I created for myself when I was named a bishop shows an image of St. Michael the Archangel and a unicorn, representing the families of my mother and father.
When read from left to right, the coat of arms declares “ecce adsum” -here I am, Michael Jackels, introducing myself to the people God has called me to serve.
My episcopal motto “ecce adsum” also expresses my surrender to God’s will, giving the same response as Samuel the prophet and the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation.
Those same words express too my trust in God’s care, who says “here I am” to all who call on him for strength, wisdom and goodness.
So, here I am, Michael Jackels, trusting in God and ready to do God’s will.
I am a follower of Jesus, called to be a bishop in his Catholic Church: to preach the Good News; to gather people together for worship at Holy Mass; to lead by example of a shared life of self-gift in service. I am by no means perfect, but I will try to imitate Jesus: Priest, Good Shepherd, Teacher, and Servant. And I promise that I will die trying.
I am humbled by the trust Pope Francis has in me to do this ministry. It would appear that this is an expression of his affinity for the poorest, weakest, and the least important.
And I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the labor done by Archbishop Hanus and Archbishop Kucera; I stand on the shoulders of these hardy laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, including the many priests, religious and lay faithful who worked together with them.
I have much to learn about the history and personality of this local Church. I want to take time to watch, listen, ask questions, and become one with you, one of you.
I beg your prayers and your patience. And I welcome your partnership in carrying out the mission of Jesus, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. May it be so. Amen.
I like the new archbishop’s message. I’m looking forward to meeting him, and seeing him in action.