Sometimes a blending of Catholicity and pop-culture can produce cringe-worthy results.
I have to admit that when I saw the headline for this I winced. But as I read on, I thought it was pretty darn good.
‘This is my light saber‘ – Tulsa’s new bishop makes his own staff
Washington D.C., Jun 8, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- 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. [One of the things I like about that is that it isn’t weak or mealy-mouthed. Light sabers kill things. They are weapons. The bishop’s staff, a shepherd’s tool is used to whack sheep back into place and fight predators.]
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. [I hope he also gets some big, shiny gold stuff, too, for when he celebrates Pontifical Masses at the Throne.]
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 Michael Sis of San Angelo; 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 Sis, 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.
For his own crosier, the bishop-elect will be able to take a bit of the campus’s Catholic Center with him as well: he said he was able to use trees which were taken down to build the campus’s new student center in his own staff. “I was able to incorporate some of that wood into this crosier so it will have that special meaning.”
[… description of how he is making it is pretty interesting, and you can read it there…]
Bishop-elect Konderla’s episcopal ring will also have a special meaning, and the soon-to-be bishop will also have a hand in making it. His youngest brother is a jeweler, Konderla and together the pair designed a ring based on St. Pope John Paul II’s fisherman’s ring. The ring will also incorporate elements from Konderla’s devotions to the Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy and Mary, as well as gold from their mother’s wedding ring.
The bishop-elect’s brother has made a model of the ring, and next will make a mold that will be filled with the gold. Then, Fr. Konderla explained, his brother will add final touches such as adding the heart-shaped stone and carving elements into the ring.
Fr. Konderla said that he sees this project of creating his own crosier fitting and reflective of the beauty God creates in the world.
“Art is expressive of the divine,” and woodwork in particular is an art form that must respect God’s own beautiful creations, he said.
“The nice thing about working in wood is that even a dead tree, in a way is a living medium. The wood does simply do whatever you want, but you have to cooperate with the kind of medium that it is.”
While the creation of the crosier might be one of the last woodworking projects he creates before his ordination, Bishop-elect Konderla looks forward to taking his love of woodworking with him to his new residence in Tulsa.
He said he’s already visited his new residence, and was happy to see that it has a two-car garage – just large enough to fit his woodworking workshop.