Bishop Sheltz to the Archdiocese …Uncle George to us

April 24, 2012

Question: When did you find out about Pope Benedict naming your uncle a bishop?
Kendall: I came home and Cameron asked if I heard that Uncle George was going to be a bishop. I asked him how he knew, because he was the first in our family to find out. He found out before our parents did!
Cameron: I got the text (from the Office of Youth Ministry) while in first period and had to sneak my phone to get a quick look. When I read it my first reaction was, “What? My uncle’s a bishop? How cool is that?” I then sent a text to my mom and she had to check all the news feeds because she was in Florida at the time.

Q: What was your initial reaction to the announcement?
 It’s funny how people ask, “How is Bishop-elect Sheltz?” and in my mind I’m thinking, “You mean Uncle George?” Since he doesn’t have kids of his own, he’s basically like another grandpa to us. He is the most faithful person I’ve ever met.
Kendall: It’s weird knowing that someone’s “famous” in the family. It’s pretty cool. As family we’ve joked about it and hoped for it a long time. He’s just a great man and he’s always the first to make a joke in the family. It’s so cool!

Q: What do you know about his role in the Church?
Cameron: I know he’s the cardinal’s right-hand man and he also fills in for priests.
Kendall: Over the past couple of years, he’s celebrated Confirmation and he’s actually going to confirm me. How cool is that? I’ll be confirmed by my uncle in our new church [Mary Queen, set to be dedicated April 21].

Q: What were your thoughts on Bishop-elect Sheltz being at the recent ad limina visit?
Kendall: It’s been pretty cool to see all the updates and pictures that were put on (the Office of Youth Ministry’s) Facebook page and to see Uncle George with Cardinal DiNardo shaking hands with the pope. When I saw that, I realized this is real!

Q: What do your peers think about this?
Cameron: I tell my friends all the time that my uncle is a priest. I had another uncle who was a priest, and my great grandpa was a deacon. We are a very religious family. I told a couple people on the youth council that the new bishop is my uncle and they were just as excited as I was. I had to tell them that I’m cool like that.

Q: Do you see this new role changing your relationship with your uncle?
Cameron: We see him a lot. We don’t have birthday or Christmas celebrations with–out him. It’s going to be hard because he may not be as present due to new responsibilities, but he’s still going to be Uncle George to us and we will see him as much as possible.

Q: Being part of a family of faith, what are your thoughts on vocations?
Cameron: Everyone should at least discern. I can see myself as a priest but at the moment I’m not sure if it’s marriage or the priesthood. If I’m called to the priesthood then I’d look into it. At the moment I don’t see it. Of course there are several family members who chose the vocation of marriage and are very religious. My great grandparents were such a huge influence on us.
Kendall: I never saw myself as a nun. I’ve always seen myself as having a family and raising them in the Church and see them grow in their faith. I know that’s cool about my parents and how we’re being raised.

As is written in the documents for the ordination of a bishop, “In the person of the bishop, with his priests around him, Jesus Christ, the Lord, who became High Priest for ever, is present among you.  Through the ministry of the bishop, Christ himself continues to proclaim the Gospel and to confer the mysteries of faith on those who believe.  Through the fatherly action of the bishop, Christ adds new members to his body.  Through the bishop's wisdom and prudence, Christ guides you in your earthly pilgrimage toward eternal happiness.”
Bishop Sheltz, in the person of uncle, continue to the love unconditionally, be an example of faith to your family and a caring “grandpa” with a watchful eye a joyful heart. 

Brian K. Johnson is the Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry.