LINCOLN — Having moved from the hills of the Rockies to the plains of Nebraska, the Most Rev. James Douglas Conley took his place as the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln in a reverently lavish rite of installation ceremony at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ here Tuesday afternoon.
More than 200 priests and 42 bishops participated in the celebration of Mass, which included a reading of the apostolic letter of appointment from Pope Benedict XVI by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
As is customary in some bishop installation ceremonies, Conley began the service from the outside looking in. Carrying a hammer to the rear center door of the cathedral, Conley knocked to gain admittance to the Mass and was promptly greeted with open arms by Monsignor Robert G. Tucker, rector of the cathedral. The ritual symbolized Conley's acceptance as shepherd of the Lincoln diocese, which includes a total population of 588,641 and a Catholic population of 96,625 and covers all of Nebraska south of the Platte River.