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Teacher

om represents the site of political power and the rule of the one air of Peter represents the teaching authority of the Holy Father. In the early Christian tradition, the chair of the one presiding over the local church thus took on a special meaning. In the local church, which is called a diocese (such as the Diocese of Corpus Christi), the bishop as chief shepherd of that portion of the Lord’s flock also presides from a special chair that represents his authority to teach, sanctify and govern. That chair is called in the Latin language “cathedra” and the church in which the bishop’s chair resides is called the “cathedral.” Over the years, since the erection of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1912, the bishops have used a number of different chairs to serve as the “cathedra” in which they alone sit for services while they serve in the office of Ordinary of

the diocese. However, in each case these chairs have been the symbol of the duties placed upon them by reason of their appointment to serve the local community we call the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Many have even chosen to preach from the chair as a reminder that they are exercising both their right and their responsibility because they occupy that chair. Even when there is no bishop (including the pope as bishop of Rome) because of a death or transfer, the Church refers to the temporary absence of a shepherd as “sede vacante” (the seat being empty). Nevertheless the chair remains in the cathedral even in those times to remind the people that a shepherd will be provided by the one who is our Eternal Shepherd.

Cathedra for Bishop Roberto O. González,

This chair, originally in the epis-

OFM. His coat of arms done in cross-stitch

copal home on Ocean Drive, was

by a local Catholic was on the back of the

chosen by Bishop Drury to serve

chair. Upon his appointment as Archbishop

as his cathedra towards the end of

of San Juan in Puerto Rico, the coat of arms

his tenure. It had his coat of arms

was removed from the chair and framed as a

(removable) on the top of the back.

gift to him to remind him of the first diocese

It was subsequently used by Bishop

where he served as Ordinary. The pres-

Rene H. Gracida to serve as his

ent coat of arms on the chair is that of his successor, Bishop Edmond

cathedra (it still bears the diamond

Carmody, who presided from

the chair presently used by Bishop

this chair.

Mulvey as his cathedra in the Cor-

pattern from his coat of arms). It is

pus Christi Cathedral.

Photos by Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic

www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC

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Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - June 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

South Texas Catholic - June 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

Profile for diocesecc