On Tuesday, June 30, Abbot Elias Lorenzo, OSB was ordained a bishop by Cardinal Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, during a mass celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark. Bishop Elias will serve as an auxiliary bishop, assisting in the territory of Union County. Abbot Richard Cronin, OSB, Fr. Edward Seton Fittin, OSB '82, Fr. Demetrius Thomas, OSB, Br. William McMillan, and Br. Finnbar McEvoy attended the ordination.
Bishop Elias shared his journey in a recent article in the Advocate, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Newark. From his childhood in Brooklyn, he received a foundation for his faith from his 'saints' of parents. Following a period of discernment influenced by the writings of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk from the mid-20 th century, and the Benedictine community at St. Paul’s Abbey in Newton, NJ, he entered the community at St. Mary’s Abbey in 1983. After six years living and working at the Abbey, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Frank Rodimer, and Fr. Elias became head of Campus Ministry at Delbarton. In the following three decades, Father Elias served the School in various capacities, including teacher, administrator, chairman of religious studies, and vice president. He was also deeply involved in Delbarton's Operation Smile chapter, an organization that Delbarton students continue to support with their participation in medical missions around the world.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Fr. Lorenzo also began his extensive work in the area of liturgy. He served on the abbey's liturgical committee and as a member of the Paterson Diocesan Liturgical Commission. He also headed workshops for liturgical ministers in local dioceses, as well as at the national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.
After serving Delbarton for more than 30 years, in 2009 he was called upon to share his time and talents with the Benedictine order internationally, both as Prior at San Anselmo in Rome and Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation. While attending a meeting of American Abbots as part of his role as Abbot President, Abbot Elias received the call letting him know the Holy Father had appointed him bishop. His episcopal motto— Nothing is impossible with God—reflects the impact the Benedictines have on his life, “They have formed me well and gave me opportunities, none of which I sought. Everything I was asked to do, everything that was placed on my shoulders, I was able to do it by God’s grace. Not by my accomplishments, my gifts, nor by my talents but God’s grace.” For more, including a description of Bishop Elias’s coat of arms and pictures from throughout his life, follow this link to read the full article.
On June 29, Fr. Hilary O'Leary,OSB, Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB, and Br. Kieran Sheik, OSB joined Bishop Elias for a special Evening Prayer service the night before, also at the cathedral.
Bishop Elias was ordained alongside Michael Saporito, Regional Bishop for Bergen County, and Gregory Studerus, Regional Bishop for Hudson County.
The Delbarton community joins Abbot Richard and the monks of St. Mary’s Abbey in saluting Bishop Elias and wishing him good luck as he embarks on this exciting new chapter in his life.