The entire Sacred Heart Catholic School was so surprised to see one of their own young schoolmates dressed up as Bishop John Noonan, bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, in honor of his 13th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination – first as Auxiliary Bishop of Miami in 2005, then as bishop in our diocese in 2010. Fourth-grader, Gavin S., agreed to play the part of Bishop Noonan. He became part of the liturgical procession at the school-led Mass, and posed for pictures with Father Aldrin Nunes, C.Ss.R., as well as the principal of Sacred Heart, Mrs. Shelley Niswonger.
When asked how he felt about playing the part of Bishop Noonan, Gavin said, “I actually felt really proud of myself being Bishop Noonan.” Of course, being the actual bishop takes a lot of work. A diocesan bishop is the shepherd of his people in a certain region. He is called to teach, govern, and sanctify the faithful. He ordains priests and confers the Sacrament of Confirmation. He oversees parishes and is responsible for passing on the faith through Catholic schools. He even meets with leaders of other faiths to build unity. He also does a lot of other things.
On the subject of possibly becoming a bishop someday, Gavn said, “I have not thought about it, but I like this cool attire I am wearing!”
Sacred Heart students and staff wished Bishop Noonan many more memorable years as a bishop and thanked him for being a good shepherd. The school also created and honored Bishop Noonan in a video celebrating his anniversary as a bishop.
Article written by Jackson C., an eighth grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School, New Smyrna Beach.
Photo taken by Mrs. Maria Bilodeau.