Left, Father Denis Wilde, OSA, happily celebrating his 50 years of Religious Profession as an Augustinian Friar with Priests for Life Bishops Advisory Board and newly installed (9/8/2011) Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M Cap and sharing a grateful moment together at the annual Mass and reception for Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, September 11, 2011. Archbishop Chaput, a “fellow Religious” as he familiarly alluded to himself several times during the celebration, his first Sunday Mass as Archbishop of the City of Brotherly Love, comes to us from his former papal assignment as Archbishop of Denver, Colorado.
In his opening homily at the sublime Mass of Installation on September 8, he spoke as his relation to the church of Philadelphia as a spouse in a wedding to the bride, the Church. He likened the Holy Father to the “matchmaker” and assured that the Holy Spirit was behind his match. The local media gave him friendly openers in reporting the whole memorable occasion.
In his masterful, down-to-earth homily of today, Archbishop Chaput wove together elements of Gospel forgiveness for today’s 10th anniversary of the historical tragedy of “9/11” with the need to do the same in family, blood or religious. His spark of enthusiasm and every day theological teaching was evident in the homily as well as in his graciousness to all those who participated in the celebration at Philadelphia’s Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. Fr. Denis considers himself blessed as an Augustinian of the St. Thomas of Villanova Province since entering after Chaminade High School, Mineola, NY in 1960, professing vows in 1961, studying theology both in Rome during the Second Vatican Council and later in Washington DC; ordained in 1970.
His work before Priests for Life has been in parishes and Order high schools in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC, and full-time Associate Professor of Music and Villanova Singers Director at Villanova University (PA), before joining Priests for Life full-time in 1998 where he continues as Associate Director.
Priests for Life has always enjoyed the friendship and helpful advice of Archbishop Chaput and we all warmly welcome him, but particularly our Philadelphia PFL lay and clerical family in Philadelphia.
Ad multos annos, Archbishop Charles Chaput!