Rich symbols abound in a bishop’s ordination
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Archbishop Gregory Aymond invokes the Holy Spirit by laying his hands on the head of Bishop Cheri, a 2,000-year tradition of the Catholic Church passed on by the apostles.
A family’s joy is complete
Music of the soul
A love of music runs deep in heart of the Cheri family. Richard Cheri, brother of Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cheri, directs the Archdiocesan Gospel Choir, which sang both individually and with the St. Louis Cathedral Choir at the episcopal ordination. “I was just telling the choir, ‘I don’t think the Cathedral’s gonna be the same,” said Richard Cheri, after the March 23 Ordination Mass.
Bishop-elect Cheri: God’s song on his heart, lips
Bishop-elect Fernand (Ferd) Joseph Cheri III has been singing most of his life.
When he was just 3 years old, his mother Gladys recalls little Ferd, the first boy among her seven children, belting out a tune in their house on St. Anthony Street in New Orleans.
Bishop Perry’s great calm inspired Bishop-elect Cheri
In 1968, New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Harold Perry – the Lake Charles native appointed three years earlier as the U.S. church’s first black bishop of the 20th century – met 16-year-old Fernand Cheri III, the high school sophomore who would go on to become the first black bishop from New Orleans.
Of course, neither Louisianan was aware of the historical significance of the encounter.
Cross a gift from Bishop Perry
In the late 1980s, as Bishop-elect Fernand Cheri was concluding a visit to the home of Bishop Harold Perry, the elder priest excused himself, went to his bedroom and returned with a special gift: a pectoral cross given to Bishop Perry by Father Clarence Rivers, a black priest from Cincinnati and pioneer in the 1950s of bringing African-American expressions of culture into the Roman Catholic liturgy.