Wishing a long, happy and healthy retirement
Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D.
Bishop Kenny High School Community
With deepest gratitude for your many years of
support of Catholic education in our diocese
IFCA ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
14 Well Done, Good and
September 2001 Keepsake Edition Faithful Servent by Bill Tierney
The list of Bishop Snyder’s accomplishments, his
The St. Augustine Catholic is the official magazine of the Diocese of Saint support of a host of programs and endeavors, bring
Augustine, which embraces 17 counties spanning northeast and north central real meaning to the phrase, “Well done, good and
Florida from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The diocese covers faithful servant.”
11,032 square miles and serves 143,000 registered Catholics.
16 The Pendant by Delores Leckey
Bishop Snyder’s work to promote the role of
women in the church.
3 Editor’s Note
features Page 8
4 Bishop Snyder Remembers by Chelle Delaney
His first homily. The gains we’ve made together. The relationships
he has made and cherishes.
8 Faith Leaders Remember Bishop Snyder
by Natalie Cornell
Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist and Jewish leaders recall a man of deep
friendship and faith.
12 Women Religious Grateful to Bishop Snyder
by Maureen Kelley, OP
Several sisters tell how Bishop Snyder’s leadership supported their ministries.
Reception Honoring Our Retiring Bishop 18 His Legacy: Stewardship
by Francis Scholtz
How Bishop Snyder’s efforts led to the establishment
John J. Snyder of the Stewardship Office and the Catholic Foundation.
20 Bishop Snyder Enables
October 28 the Disabled by Sister Rita Baum, SSJ
Harbor House, camps for the disabled and the
4 to 7 p.m. Disabilities Ministries were enabled by the bishop.
Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville 22 Education: Shaping Leaders
for Tomorrow by Patricia A. Tierney
Open to the public The children of our diocese know him well; and
most can tell you: “He wanted to be a Cardinal,
Light refreshments will be served but he couldn’t pitch a curve ball.”
24 His 21 Fruitful Years as
Join community leaders in thanking Bishop of St. Augustine
Bishop Snyder for his 22 years of service Focus on Community
by Margo C. Pope
to the people of Northeast and Northcentral Florida. St. Augustine Record Reporter Margo Pope shares
insights from her June interview with Bishop Snyder.
No invitations will be issued. All are welcome to attend.
For more information, call 262-3200, ext. 399 . 29 Photo Gallery
From his toddling days in Flushing to a student
seminarian to shepherding the faithful.
On The Cover: 32 Reflections about
(l to r, top to bottom) Rachel Danese, Ryan Bush, Lauren Bush, Member of the Bishop Snyder
Melissa Mahoney, Victoria Carroll (upside down), Michelle Catholic Press
Mahoney, Bishop Snyder, Stephen Racicot, Alyssa Sapin Personal reflections about Bishop Snyder from
Photography by Terry Wilmot/Visual Impact
Association those who know him well.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 1
Cardinal William H. Keeler
and all God s people in the Archdiocese of
Baltimore congratulate and give thanks to
the Lord for
Bishop John J. Snyder
on his 22 years of faithful service
in Saint Augustine
Basilica of the National Shrine
of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Cornerstone laid in 1806 by Bishop John Carroll
The Mother Cathedral of the Catholic Church in the United States
2 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Retired Publisher Most Reverend John J. Snyder
Editor Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
But Definitely Not Forgotten Associate Editor Chelle Delaney
Contributing Writer Natalie R. Cornell
I t has been bittersweet writing my column for this
“Special Keepsake Edition” of the St. Augustine Catholic.
This issue has been a real labor of love for Bishop Snyder and
Advertising Manager J. Michael Lenninger, APR
Layout and Design Jennifer Holland
Holland Creative Services
a tribute to his many accomplishments as Bishop of Saint Augustine for the past 22 years.
From a selfish point of view, I will miss seeing his ever-glowing smile at the Catholic Printer Allied Printing, Inc.
Center. But I also realize that he has earned the opportunity to explore other areas of Diocesan Editorial Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
interest and to relax from his ominous schedule of administering to the many needs of Board Sister Lucille Clynes, DW
the diocese. It is also comforting to know that he will remain in the area and we will Msgr. James Heslin
continue to see him. Patrick McKinney
In August, I celebrated my 15th anniversary as Director of Communications for the Father Victor Z. Narivelil, CMI
diocese. It was Bishop Snyder who hired me and it doesn’t seem possible that we are now
producing an issue of the St. Augustine Catholic on the occasion of his retirement. Diocesan Art Marshall, chair
Bishop Snyder has always encouraged me to find new ways to communicate the Good Communication Rev. Ralph Besendorfer, J.C.D.
Commission Mary Ann Christensen
News to the people of the diocese while at the same time challenging me to do it without Dean Fiandaca
increasing my budget! The St. Augustine Catholic was born 10 years ago and it was Bishop John Halloran
Msgr. R. Joseph James
Snyder who encouraged me and the Communications Commission to take a leap of
faith in producing a periodical that would inform, educate and hopefully inspire our Kate Romano-Norton
readers as they continue their faith journey.
He will be the first one to admit that he is not a technological guru, but he knows
of its importance and he has always supported our efforts in finding the best and most
effective ways to communicate the Gospel message that will hopefully bring people into The St. Augustine Catholic Magazine
a closer relationship with our Lord — a pledge he made when he was first installed as is published bimonthly (six times a year) by the
Diocese of Saint Augustine
the eighth Bishop of Saint Augustine.
Office of Communications
Through his gifts as a great communicator, he has touched many lives and he has been
P.O. Box 24000
truly a gifted spokesperson for the church in North Florida. The news media are always
Jacksonville, FL 32241-4000
quick to tell me that they love Bishop Snyder and they have enjoyed interviewing him. (904) 262-3200, ext. 110
He made my job in media relations much easier. Fax: (904) 262-2398
Bishop Snyder never was one to use a computer or even voice mail for that matter! E-Mail: KTBAGG@aol.com
But I am told that he now has a computer where he will hopefully keep in touch via
email with his many friends in the diocese and those he has met along the way in his Visit the
work on both the local and national levels. And perhaps we will be able to talk him into St. Augustine Catholic
writing for the magazine on occasion! magazine online at:
Putting together this issue of the magazine was quite rewarding. I found out things www.StAugCatholic.org
about Bishop Snyder that I never knew. Inside you will find testimonials, kind thoughts
and best wishes from many individuals who Bishop Snyder has touched over the years.
They are truly an outpouring of gratitude for his strong leadership as our shepherd and
faithful servant. This issue is a definite keepsake and I hope all of you will stay in touch
with Bishop Snyder as he enjoys his years of retirement.
I would also like to thank our advertisers and contributors for their kind support.
Without them, this issue would not be possible.
Thank you Bishop Snyder and may God continue to bless you with many happy To learn more about the
and healthy years. Diocese of Saint Augustine
see our homepage at:
Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 3
Over the past several days, there have
been more and more vacant places on
the walls of the bishop’s office at the
Catholic Center in the Mandarin
neighborhood of Jacksonville. Pictures,
mementos, gifts, recognitions of
various sorts are being packed away.
When the bishop pulls open one of the
drawers of his desk, it is nearly empty.
By Chelle Delaney
ishop John J. Snyder, 75, the To make way for the new bishop, Bishop
eighth bishop of Saint Augustine, Snyder has said that he plans to be low key
is winding down nearly 22 years as for a about a year. He doesn’t want to be
the pastoral leader of our diocese. Pope John a shadow to the new bishop. He does,
Paul II accepted Bishop Snyder’s resignation however, plan “with great joy to attend
in December 2000; in June 2001 the Holy the dedications of our new churches in
Father appointed Msgr. Victor Galeone of the fall.” As the celebrating bishop who
the Archdiocese of Baltimore to be the new attended to the dedication rites, he often
bishop of the Diocese of Saint Augustine. didn’t get a chance to see and appreciate
At the ordination and installation Mass on all the architectural details or new features
Aug. 21, Victor Galeone became the ninth of a new church building or school. Now
bishop of Diocese of Saint Augustine. he’ll be able to investigate and enjoy it.
4 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
“After that year,” he said, “we’ll see. I I have visited the people at nearly every out that, “The Catholic Foundation is a
have every expectation that the bishop- Cursillo since then. Cursillo has deepened good resource. Most of the people who
elect and I are going to relate very well.” the faith of so many of our people over contribute are contributing through their
He added that he hopes to keep in the years. It has enabled people to open parishes, so that will be a help to the parishes.”
contact with the other bishops of the state up in terms of their faith. But not everyone is happy with what
of Florida with whom he’s served since his “I find that particularly true of men the bishop has done. For example, Bishop
installation on Dec. 5, 1979. “We’ve had because they can talk about their faith and Snyder has been bitterly criticized for allowing
a very fine relationship,” Bishop Snyder share emotions with one another and it the establishment of the Catholic Gay and
said, “And they already have some plans has been a source of strength for them. Lesbian Ministry. A celebratory Mass two
to put me to work.” “I’m sure that, for others, the charismatic years ago launching the ministry and several
“‘Retirement,’” Bishop Snyder said, “doesn’t movement in the diocese has produced subsequent meetings of the ministry have
stop you from being a priest. If ‘retirement’ opportunities to pray in a different way brought out protesters. Among some
means letting go of administration and the that many people feel comfortable with.” Catholics, it has caused a rift.
power of a bishop, I’m very happy to be Sharing the sacraments, proclaiming the Bishop Snyder has been firm. “I think
letting go. But to continue to be a priest Gospel and helping to deepen relationships what we have done is rooted in the Gospel,”
and a bishop, that, to me, is a joy. with Christ are what gives a priest the most he said. “We’ve reached out to families and
“It is going to take a little while to satisfaction. But administration and the to individuals who are struggling with
figure out how I’m going to minister in the fiscal health of the diocese is also important, these issues. We have to follow what is in
future. I would hope that my involvement Bishop Snyder said. So, he is quick to point Scripture, remembering how Jesus Christ
in prison ministry and with people who
have developmental disabilities would be
two anchors for me as long as the Lord
gives me good health.”
Bishop Snyder remembers the first homily
he gave when he came here in 1979. “I
said that there was one priority, that was
to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. And that
all of our activities have to be a reflection
of bringing the Gospel to people.
“I hope that we have been faithful to
those words in a variety of ways, whether
it is through religious education in the
schools and other parish and diocesan
programs, marriage preparation, ministry
to those with disabilities, or by reaching
out to the elderly in housing such as San
Jose Manor in Jacksonville.”
He has seen gains in many areas.
He’s seen it in a new relationship with
other faiths. “We have learned,” he said,
“the importance of relating to people of
other faiths, trying to find a common Bishop Snyder greets parishioners after liturgy at the Cathedral-Basilica.
ground, working together, having great
respect for each other.”
“Retirement doesn’t stop
He’s seen it within the local church. “I
have benefited by the greater utilization of
the gifts and talents of women in our diocese,
so that many are in positions of leadership.”
He’s seen it in areas such as Cursillo and
“I feel,” he said, “that the diocese has been
you from being a priest.” —Bishop Snyder
blessed by the Cursillo movement. I made
my first Cursillo in March of 1981 and
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 5
The Christ the King Vietnamese Community
Would like to express
our deepest gratitude toward
for his shepherding care and extraordinary efforts on
our behalf. May you enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
Your kindness shall never be forgotten!
Christ the King Vietnamese Community
6 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
reached out to the disenfranchised. He was
criticized for it but he did not back off.”
Bishop Snyder has been on dozens of
committees with his fellow bishops on
the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops, committees such as priestly life and
ministry, the women’s committee — on
which he served as chair, and many others.
For example, Bishop Snyder served for
six years on the executive board of Catholic
Relief Services. He traveled to Haiti, Africa
and Thailand. “It gave me an understanding
of the third world and its suffering and
what it means to share the good that has
been entrusted to us.”
Relieving third world debt and assisting
those in deep poverty has been strongly During one of his visits to Rome, Bishop Snyder meets with Pope John Paul II.
supported by Bishop Snyder. “It’s human
instinct to be concerned about what is mine, should have moved to build more schools priests, religious and laity could be very
what is ours. We all suffer from stresses in sooner. “I think the growth of our Catholic detrimental to the life of the church.”
that direction at any given moment. But schools in the last 10 years is a unique Here in the diocese, he said, “Our priests
it’s not really what the Gospel is about or blessing for us,” Bishop Snyder said. and religious are really great co-workers.
what the church is about. If we turn inward, Moreover, “if we didn’t supply the high Working with them has been wonderful for
we are not truly Catholic. If we turn schools as we’re doing, I think it would be me. After all, we’re all on the same journey.”
outward, we are really becoming Catholic.” a frustration for parents who are committed How does Bishop Snyder feel about
How do people see him? Too tough? to a Catholic education and couldn’t get leaving his role as the pastoral leader of
Too sensitive? Too open? Too inflexible? their children into one of our high schools.” the diocese?
“In grammar school, the sisters said I Sacramental education is essential to the “I leave with great gratitude to the
was too sensitive. At a given moment, you Catholic faith formation in parishes and in people of the diocese, for their cooperation
might let something get under your skin, the schools. The availability and frequency and support in so many endeavors.
but for the most part I’ve been able to roll of these sacramental gifts rely on the number “I thank them for their deep faith and
with some frustrations and disappointments. of priests. So, it’s been with happiness the way they warmly received me.
“Then again, you’ve got to bring these that Bishop Snyder reports an increase in “I cherish the relationships that have
things to the Lord, because if you carry them candidates for the priesthood. “There are developed over these years and hope that
by yourself, you’re going to go nuts. It’s promising signs that both people and they will continue for many years to come.”
important that you begin each day with the families are much more open and supportive
Lord and take each disappointment to the of the possibility of a vocation than they
Lord. If you don’t, it’s a formula for disaster. would have been five years ago, certainly
“And speaking of being sensitive, hopefully 10 years ago.”
I am sensitive to the struggles and needs The greatest advance we’ve seen in
of people everywhere. After all, a bishop the diocese?
is ordained a bishop for the whole church. “I would say that the greatest advance
He has a responsibility to think beyond made in the diocese is stewardship. I think
his own immediate responsibility to the that the whole attitude of being stewards
entire church throughout the world. of God’s gift is an on-going process for all
“Working with your brother bishops,” he of us. We should realize that God has to
said, “you realize that Saint Augustine isn’t come first, that each one of us is called to
the whole world. It’s also been interesting share time, talent and treasure.”
to learn what the other bishops are coping Thankfully, Bishop Snyder says his tenure
with. I never came back from a meeting as bishop was blessed with the gifts and
without thanking God for what we have dedication of many talented people.
here in our diocese. We have been blessed.” “While the bishop has the ultimate
There has been scant criticism of plans decision-making, the failure to use the Bishop Snyder processes out of the 125th celebration
for schools. In fact, most say the diocese gifts and talents and wisdom of the commemorating the founding of the diocese in 1870.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 7
Faith Leaders Remember
Bishop Snyder By Natalie Cornell
ishop John J. Snyder’s outreach
to other faiths in the Diocese of
Saint Augustine began the day
he was installed as the eighth Bishop of
Former Episcopal Bishop of Florida
Frank Cerveny recalls how Bishop Snyder
asked him to sit in the sanctuary with his
brother Catholic bishops that day. At the
sign of peace Bishop Snyder embraced
first his family, then the Apostolic Nuncio
and then him. Bishop Cerveny says, “We
touched hearts at that moment and as a
result our friendship began to blossom. I
feel like a blood brother to Bishop Snyder
— I have that love for him.” At Evensong to commemorate the signing of the Catholic-Lutheran document on the Joint Declaration on Justification,
Shortly after Bishop Snyder’s installation Retired Lutheran Bishop William B. Trexler. (l-r), Episcopal Bishop Stephen H. Jecko, and former Episcopal Bishop
of Florida Frank Cerveny joined Bishop Snyder at the Cathedral-Basilica.
in 1979, Rabbi Howard Greenstein, then
the leader of Congregation Ahavath Chesed
in Jacksonville, came to Bishop Cerveny’s and courage, but also as a very cherished Bishop Trexler recalls a time when, as
office. He wanted to organize the religious personal friend.” a pastor visiting Marywood, he ran into
leaders in the community so that they could Msgr. John J. Lenihan, who at that Bishop Snyder on the grounds and was
address, as Rabbi Greenstein says, “issues time was vicar general for the Diocese greeted with a “Hello, Bill.”
that called for a religious voice.” Some of of Saint Augustine, says that other faith That made then-Pastor Trexler feel “very
those issues included education, race relations, communities see Bishop Snyder “as a welcome.” Bishop Trexler attributes to
homelessness and violence. And he definitely leader in the community. In fact, the Bishop Snyder’s memory for names to
wanted to involve the new Catholic bishop. Bishop was chosen to serve a term as “his ability to center with you, when he
The Interfaith Council of Jacksonville President of the Interfaith Council.” was talking to you, and focus on you as
was a result of the three men — Bishop This evaluation is borne out by others. if you were the only person in the room.”
Cerveny, Rabbi Greenstein and Bishop Retired Lutheran Bishop William B. Trexler Glenn Kuhnel, Ph.D., diocesan liaison
Snyder — coming together. says Bishop Snyder is “a man of deep faith for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations,
Rabbi Greenstein says of Bishop Snyder, and humility.” He says, “When I think of says that the three bishops, Bishop Snyder,
“I have a very special place in my heart for Jack, I think of a person of very deep faith. Bishop Cerveny and Bishop Trexler were
him, not only because I revere him as a He led the way in showing us how to talk “soul mates” who were “like-minded” in
religious leader of impeccable character to each other and pray together.” their understanding of social services and
8 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
The Interfaith Council of
Jacksonville was a result of the
three men - Bishop Cerveny,
Rabbi Greenstein and Bishop
Snyder - coming together.
Rabbi Howard R. Greenstein
“striving for the visible unity of the church.” Jacksonville and now serving with his wife rank, station, and belief, and his gentle
For example, Bishop Trexler relates how the as coordinators of mission work in Asia, servant spirit have not only elevated the
three churches, the Lutheran, Episcopal and says, “I count Jack Snyder one of my dear dialogue among various faith traditions,
Roman Catholic, jointly plan pre-Lenten friends.” Rev. Snell writes from Singapore, but have engendered trust and acceptance
retreats at Marywood that all three bishops “While continuing to hold fast to his own at the highest level.”
and about 60-80 of their clergy attend. faith, he has affirmed and embraced those Bishop Snyder’s ecumenical ministry
Reverend Jack A. Snell, former pastor of of other traditions. His affable nature, his didn’t stop at the local level. As an episcopal
the Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in genuine love for people across all lines of representative of the National Conference
Bishop TO OUR FRIEND BISHOP SNYDER
John J. Snyder KNOW THAT WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR
The 200 members of YOUR SUPPORT AND THAT OUR
PRAYERS AND GOOD WISHES
FOLLOW YOU ALWAYS
Lawyers Guild ask
St. Pius V Church and School
The Mother Church of African American
Catholics in Jacksonville
ST. THOMAS MORE
PATRON OF THE CATHOLIC LAWYER
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 9
of Catholic Bishops, he was, for 15 years, could come together as church in worship.
on the national committee for the Anglican- The presence and spirit of Christ is what
Roman Catholic U.S.A. dialogue (ARCUSA). brought us together … this is a step toward
Dr. Kuhnel says committee documents feasting at the tables of the altar because
furthered the visible unity between the we now share at the table of the Word,”
two churches. Dr. Kuhnel says.
One outcome of the dialogue were Bishop Snyder’s ecumenical spirit
mutual agreements for some shared ministry continued to the next generation of leaders.
and social service. Dr. Kuhnel says,“These Bishop Stephen H. Jecko, the present
communions now share facilities and gather Episcopal Bishop of Florida says he
together for the common celebration of and Bishop Snyder were friends before
the Liturgy of the Hours.” he became a bishop, when he served as
There have also been moves to bring the Bishop Cerveny’s representative to the
Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic
closer. Dr. Kuhnel cites the signing in (LARC) dialogues. Bishop Jecko says that
Augsburg, Germany of the Joint Declaration when he became bishop, John Snyder
on Justification, an event in the relationship “offered to be a friend and confidant.”
between Roman Catholics and Lutherans. Since that time in 1994, the two have
A combined Vespers Service with met at intervals of about six weeks. Bishop
Lutherans and Catholics was celebrated Jecko says Bishop Snyder “struggles deeply
at the Cathedral with Bishops Snyder and with the issues of the day in prayer and faith
Trexler co-presiding. Dr. Kuhnel points and is always a defender of the defenseless.”
to the importance of this event because it District Superintendent Thom Shafer of
clarified one of the theological principles the United Methodist Church met Bishop
that had separated Catholics and Lutherans Snyder about two years ago. Recently, along
Episcopal Bishop Stephen H. Jecko since the time of the Reformation. “We with Bishops Jecko and Trexler, Rev. Shafer
The People of God
at St. John, Interlachen,
Wish Bishop John Snyder
All the Best
Best Wishes Thank you
on your retirement.
Thank you for your
Bishop John J. Snyder
leadership, support For 22 years of service to the people
and friendship. of Saint Augustine Diocese
The staff of: Father Joseph Maniangat
The Mission of Nombre De Dios
and the parishioners of
The Shrine of Our Lady of LaLeche
The Shrine Gift Shop St. John the Evangelist Parish
and Holy Cross Catholic Mission
10 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Baptist Minister Jack Snell
led a Cursillo Fourth Day event with Bishop
Snyder. Remembering that day, Rev. Shafer
says, “My biggest memory of Bishop Snyder
on the Fourth Day celebration was how he
wanted to include all of us.” He “wanted Like a true Shepherd
to receive people as friends and then as He has led his flock
colleagues. His real interest is in people
as the children of God.”
Why is ecumenism important in 2001?
Msgr. Lenihan says, “It’s part of the legacy
of Vatican II. It’s not an option.” He says
that ordinary Catholics had developed
their own ecumenical relationships and
what Bishop Snyder did was “… make us
proud of that involvement by his actions.
He has a unique ability to make people of all
walks of life and denominations comfortable.
He recognizes their human dignity.”
Bishop Cerveny agrees that ecumenism St. Patrick Parish,
is not an option. He says, referring to John Gainesville, is thankful
17, that Jesus prayed we might all be one
as He and the Father were one, “so that for 22 years of pastoral care
the world may believe,” and he adds that by Bishop John J. Snyder
it is an “imperative of Jesus.”
It is a command Bishop John Snyder
has followed. The result has been deep
friendships, communion among leaders,
May God Bless you
and blessings bountiful for the people in your retirement years
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 11
The late Catherine Reilly of Catholic Charities and women religious greet Bishop Snyder.
Grateful to Bishop Snyder
By Maureen Kelley, OP
he love and gratitude that the the diocese. The sisters are grateful for his
women religious in the Diocese challenge to them to bring their separate As Sisters of St. Joseph the bishop has made us
of Saint Augustine feel for Bishop charisms together in a unique way to serve feel that we are truly his own sisters. When any
John J. Snyder today is not new. It has been the diocese. one of us leaves the diocese to work in another
diocese he always says that we are on loan —
the same since the day he arrived from Bishop Snyder’s sincere relationship
that we belong to him in Saint Augustine. He has
Brooklyn, N.Y. No matter what sister is to the women religious extends from the a way of letting us know that we are special to
relating her unique story about her relation- oldest congregation in the diocese, the him and the diocese.
ship with the bishop, or recalling a story Sisters of St. Joseph, to the newest group
about others, it is always one of gratitude in the diocese, the Cenacle Sisters, and He has actively walked with us in our journeys,
for his knowing her by name, encouraging to each individual sister. All feel his love both personally and congregationally. He is open
her, and showing his personal interest in her. and concern for them. to listening with interest to what is going on in
our congregation and with individual sisters.
Each Sister speaks of her appreciation. This article cannot begin to tell all the
When asked, Bishop Snyder will offer opinions on
Of his knowledge and interest in the charism stories of women religious, but the particular issues or give us a broader perspective
of her congregation, and his attitude for following are a sample of the love the sisters when necessary. He is able to share his joys and
the presence of the charism she brings to hold for him: concerns about the diocese with us.
— Ann Kuhn, SSJ
12 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
When Bishop Snyder’s appointment to this diocese Sixteen years ago Bishop Snyder invited members of come?” Bishop replied, “He’s already here.” Sister
was announced, I wrote a welcoming letter urging him the Montfort communities to minister in the diocese. asked, “Where?” “I’m the driver,” he responded.
to “hurry home.” He responded saying, “You’ve warmed He was comfortable with the experimental model of Sister had never before met a bishop who drove
my day. See you soon. Thank you.” this joint venture of two congregations. The goal was himself. Bishop Snyder is always down to earth.
— Marie Rene Azar, SSJ for religious men and women who share a common — Maureen Delahunt, DC
spirituality and heritage to live and work in collaboration,
He showed foresight in moving All Saints Nursing Home as members of a team. Arriving in Florida, I knew a little about Bishop Snyder.
from Riverside to its present location near Sacred I had seen him from time to time. At Christmas I
Heart. He has helped us renovate the O’Reilly House In working with bishop as director of Christian received a card from “a” John Snyder. I had no idea
Museum because he values it as a storehouse of the Formation, I appreciated his trust and confidence. who this was. We did have a Drew Snyder on the staff
history of this diocese. In our relationship we spoke about being honest and at the hospital. I spent some time sleuthing to find
— Marie Therese Evrard, SSJ speaking the truth about particular situations. I know out if “John” was a nickname for Drew. I received only
Bishop Snyder as a person of prayer, which enables him funny looks from these inquiries. I kept the card and
At our first meeting of the Sisters Council he asked to see the big picture. He always has a good word to would look at it from time to time. One day there was
us what we saw as our needs as women religious in say and takes a positive slant on a situation. a notice on our community bulletin board announcing
the diocese. We shared the need of a place for retreat. — Lucy Clynes, DW that Bishop John Snyder would come for our canonical
What a joy when Marywood was opened. visit. I went immediately to look at my card—there
— Kathleen Power, SSJ Bishop Snyder has been supportive of the Sisters For it was, the same writing! This time I noticed a cross
Christian Community as we live our post-Vatican II below his name. I couldn’t believe it. I had never been
Bishop Snyder’s pastoral ministry excludes no one. call in the church and world. He has been a part of in a diocese where the bishop knew your name, let
He is present to diverse groups. His vision is broad our international assemblies, addressing the sisters alone sent you a Christmas card. I was touched by
and encompassing. and sharing liturgy. this personal gesture.
— Thomas Joseph, SSJ — Mary Steves, SFCC —DeSales Wisniewski, DC
When Bishop Snyder was new to the diocese, and was The women religious are truly grateful
Every time I’m at Marywood I give thanks that Bishop leaving after visiting the Daughters of Charity, Sister to Bishop Snyder for his leadership and
Snyder has provided a diocesan retreat center for Gabriel Sullivan asked, “When will your chauffeur loving spirit.
— Josephine O’Leary, RSM
In the more than 20 years since our Holy Father appointed
then-Auxiliary Bishop John J. Snyder of Brooklyn to serve as the
Bishop of St. Augustine, he has maintained friendships with many
of our clergy, Religious and laity, and they join me in asking
Almighty God’s choicest blessing on him on his retirement.
We know that the same qualities that endeared him to the
faithful of our Diocese - personal holiness, pastoral sensitivity and
genuine warmth - have been manifested among the People of God in St. Augustine, all
for His greater glory.
As he welcomes his successor, Bishop-elect Victor B. Galeone, we pray that Bishop
Snyder’s days in retirement will be filled with joy and the peace of Christ.
Most Reverend Thomas V. Daily, D.D.
Bishop of Brooklyn
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 13
Well done, good and
A diocese that has doubled in size, a retreat and spirituality center, an
administrative center, a state-of-the- art nursing home, five residences and two
community centers for low income seniors, many new parishes and more than
twenty-five new churches, eight elementary schools, an ecumenical human
service center, a thirty-five million dollar plus capital campaign which will provide
two new high schools and land for future use, expansion of a present high school
and elementary school for children with learning disabilities, as well as endowments
for vocations and clergy, Christian formation, and inner city schools; these are
only a few of the things that have been accomplished since Bishop John J. Snyder
assumed leadership of the Diocese of Saint Augustine in late 1979. By Bill Tierney
reaching out to minorities, to marginalized and their families, a special ministry of love
edication to the priests, deacons,
and religious of the diocese as farm workers and their families, to those to those with disabilities, these initiatives,
well as to the liturgical and in need of advice and counsel relating and many more, have also come about
sacramental needs of the faithful together to legalization, to those in danger of under the compassionate and enlightened
with a host of new programs and ministries homelessness, to the unemployed, to leadership of Bishop Snyder.
designed to foster justice and peace and the prisoners and those leaving incarceration Strong support for programs of Catholic
dissemination of Catholic Social Teaching, and in need of assistance to adjust to ‘life education and formation, development
support of and respect for life, parish social on the outside,’ outreach to those impacted of the RCIA, the Ministry Formation
ministry, services for the elderly, programs by HIV/AIDS, to gay and lesbian Catholics Program, campus ministry and a host of
14 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
other endeavors are examples of the growth The celebration of a Mass of Resurrection
and development of the formation of faith in a parish church in Virginia. Bishop Snyder
in the Catholic community under the has journeyed there to comfort a member
compassionate and enlightened leadership of his staff and her family and to provide a
of Bishop Snyder. pastoral and compassionate presence upon
With these and a myriad other similar the death of a husband and father.
and important achievements, including A eucharistic celebration in the bishop’s
important developments in the fiscal chapel in the cathedral rectory, an annual
and management aspects of diocesan gathering of family and close friends
administration, hundreds of trips across remembers a former secretary of the
the 17 counties comprising the geographical bishop on the anniversary of her death.
boundaries of the diocese to administer These are but individual instances of a
the sacraments, carry out parish visits, 50-year pastoral ministry of reaching out
dedicate churches and other parish and to people in need. These are but examples
diocesan buildings and institutions, celebrate of unnumbered and untold acts of personal Bill Tierney with Bishop Snyder.
weddings and funerals, anniversaries of consolation, kindness and compassion
priests, religious, and married couples, expressed in the ministry of Bishop Snyder;
one might think that Bishop Snyder is a a ministry rooted in and enriched by his which is cherished in the hearts and souls
dedicated and committed activist who deep personal faith and his life of prayer of those who have been deeply touched by
hardly found time to breathe due to the and immersion in the Word. his compassionate and Christ-like ministry.
pressures of his daily schedule. Bishop Snyder’s legacy to the church of
Not so. There is another side to the Saint Augustine is rich and varied. He has “Well done, good and faithful servant …”
bishop’s life which energizes, grounds, and accomplished so much in what is visible
is foundational to his compassionate and and lasting and terribly important. One Bill Tierney is the director of the Catholic
enlightened leadership style. Early in his suspects, however, that he has accomplished Charities Bureau for the Diocese of Saint
training for ordination to the priesthood, even more in that which lacks visibility but Augustine.
both in the minor seminary and later at
the major Seminary of the Immaculate
Conception in Huntington on Long Island,
the seminarian John Snyder learned that the
interior life, the life of prayer and solitude,
the life of the sacraments, especially the
Eucharist, meditation and sacred reading
and contemplation, the life of discipleship
to and incorporation in Christ, constitutes
the foundation and the very soul of the
apostolate, the active life of the priest and
the bishop. It is the daily commitment to
this interior life and the discipline it entails
which has borne so much fruit in the
bishop’s 50 year long compassionate
pastoral ministry of outreach to people in
need of real life signs of the love of God.
In spite of all the apostolic achievements
chronicled here, and those enumerated are
merely a partial list of those which could
be mentioned, Bishop Snyder will be
best remembered for his pastoral and
compassionate presence to the people of
God in the church of Saint Augustine.
Buildings and programs, growth and
development, yes, of course. But even more
important and of truly vital significance is his
personal pastoral style. This is a holy man.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 15
The Pendant By Delores Leckey
s I write this remembrance of issues which women faced every day. A pastoral letter on women was defeated) one
Bishop John J. Snyder, I am top priority was that of domestic violence. bishop moved that the domestic violence
wearing a pewter pendant, a When Bishop Snyder, a member of the statement receive some kind of general
sculpted image of St. Thomas Becket, Committee on Women, heard the stories affirmation — which it did unanimously.
martyred in Canterbury cathedral in the of fear and hopelessness from women of This small but powerful document, in
12th century. George Carey, the current various ethnic groups you could tell that brochure form, has been translated into
Archbishop of Canterbury, gave the pendant he was moved to action. He believed that several languages and is used by many
to Bishop Snyder in 1994 in gratitude for the church could and should reach out churches outside the Catholic community.
Bishop Snyder’s enduring commitment to to women who lived in such precarious Lawyers keep stacks of them at hand. One
the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue. situations. “We need to let women know civil judge in Cleveland makes them available
The bishop, in turn, presented the pendant that the church hears their cries and cares in the courtroom. They are often available
to me as a remembrance of our collaboration about them and their children in a truly in the backs of churches. Bishop Snyder’s
in the preparation of the United States active way.” He was totally supportive of commitment to this cause helped launch
bishops’ statement, Strengthening The Bonds having the Committee on Women join with the church’s involvement in one of the most
of Peace. That gesture is so in keeping with the Committee on Marriage and Family in critical pastoral problems of our time.
the character of this extraordinary Christian developing a statement on the topic. That In June of 1994, the Bishops’ Committee
— and bishop — John J. Snyder: Jack, to is how When I Call For Help came to be. on Women met in California. Bishop
his many friends and colleagues who joyfully The two committees invited experts to Snyder, who was then chairman of the
join him along the Christian way. testify: directors of shelters, counselors who committee, was in the final months of
During the 20 years that I served as the specialize in support groups for women his term. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which
director of the United States Bishops’ and rehabilitation groups for men, and of forcefully restated the prohibition against
Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and course, the first-hand stories of women and women’s ordination, had been issued three
Youth I came to know Bishop Snyder men. All of us, staff and bishops, wanted weeks earlier. The committee felt that they
through his work on various national this document to go forward at the level should make a statement of some kind.
committees, including the Family Life of committee sponsorship so that a format To ignore a Vatican document of such
Commission. It was clear to everyone that that would speak to the people who needed significance regarding the role of women
he was a man of great compassion, but it most would be possible. We wanted it in the church would be irresponsible they
I did not comprehend the extent of that brief, in clear unambiguous language, with said. The discussion moved in the direction
compassion until his membership on the a well-defined purpose. Bishop Snyder of identifying all that was possible for
Bishops’ Committee on Women in Society helped shape that purpose. “We need to women, acknowledging that ordination was
and in the Church, and later his chairman- say as directly and simply as possible that off the table. But what about alternative
ship of that committee, brought us into violence against women is never justified. modes of leadership?
a close working relationship. Neither Scripture nor church tradition can I remember a candid exchange of ideas
In the late 1980s and early 1990s the or ought to be used to allow such behavior.” and possibilities as the bishops probed the
concerns of women were largely focused All the while, he and the other bishops subject. The climate was decidedly one of
on the development of a bishops’ pastoral insisted that we not write off the perpetrators. emerging creativity, and there was excitement
letter on women which certainly raised the I learned a great deal during this project in the air. One could almost sense the Holy
consciousness of church leaders, but which about the belief that bishops like Jack Spirit stirring the minds and spirits of
ultimately was not passed by the assembled Snyder live by, namely that no one is those present.
bishops. At the same time the Committee on beyond the arc of God’s grace. When the discussion was over, one bishop
Women, attentive to what the nation had When I Call for Help was approved as a said he felt a lot better to have had a vehicle
learned through the process of the pastoral, committee statement. However, during the (i.e., the meeting) to hash through a maze
decided to speak to the difficult pastoral November general assembly (where the of complicated thoughts and feelings. “This
16 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
was an honest quest to understand,” he said. The first was the guiding scripture, relationship between Holy Orders and
The next step was for the staff to prepare a namely, Ephesians 4:3 which urges unity jurisdiction be studied. New leadership
draft statement, which the committee would through the peace that binds us together. roles for women are a stated goal.
discuss during a conference call. The statement’s title, Strengthening The Vowed women religious and laywomen
I had thought all along that this would Bonds of Peace was derived from that verse. from all over the United States expressed
be a committee statement (much like When The second direction was a study of the their gratitude to Bishop Snyder for his
I Call for Help). But one of the staff pointed encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam courage and for his example of collaboration.
out that the committee was grateful to be that lays out the principles of genuine He has given them hope, they say, that
able to think about the subject in some kind dialogue. From Ephesians 4 and Ecclesiam continued progress was possible.
of systematic way. Perhaps more bishops Suam emerged the essentials of Strengthening In T.S. Eliot’s classic play, Murder in the
would welcome an opportunity to grapple The Bonds of Peace: putting away falsehood, Cathedral, Thomas Becket (the Archbishop
with the complex issues around ordination, speaking the truth, not giving in to anger, of Canterbury) preaches a Christmas sermon
and therefore, he argued, it should be a striving to be understood, respect for in anticipation of his own death. He says
statement of the entire Conference of differences, and the recognition of our that saints are not made by accident. The
Bishops. The committee agreed with him, fundamental equality. saint (and the martyr) is one who has
and the chairman eagerly supported that Gaining passage of a document like become the instrument of God, says Becket.
option, knowing full well the difficulties Strengthening the Bonds of Peace was no And so it is with Bishop Snyder, “Jack,”
that awaited us. easy task, but Bishop Snyder was particularly who served as God’s instrument in promoting
One of the difficulties was the timing. suited to the challenge. His own commitment, the role of women in the church. He humbly
This had to be accomplished quickly; it plus the respect his fellow bishops had listened to their needs and responded
could not linger on, like the pastoral letter. (and have) for him provided the necessary without counting the cost. To this day, he
Another difficulty was our need for an image, momentum. The entire body of bishops continues as an advocate for the voiceless.
a conceit, some controlling metaphor that approved the document, which broke some Indeed, saints are not made by accident.
would give us direction and inspiration. new ground. Feminism was not demonized
Bishops and staff prayed about it, and two and sexism was named, once and for all, Dolores R. Leckey is a Senior Fellow at
directions emerged from the prayer. as sinful. The document asks that the Woodstock Theological Center, Washington, D.C.
Catholic Network of Volunteer Service (CNVS)
John J. Snyder working with Lay Volunteers and Missionaries
and the Programs that sponsor them since 1963,
good wishes on Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D.
Bishop of Saint Augustine
We love you! and Epispcopal Advisor to CNVS since 1997.
With gratitude for all you have been and done for us,
we ask God’s continued blessing for you
upon your retirement!
Ad Multos Annos!
Sister Mary Victor 1410 Q Street, NW
and the Staff of Washington, DC 20009-3808
Cathedral Parish School, 800-543-5046 (toll-free)
St. Augustine 202-332-6000 (local)
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 17
ishop Snyder is a man of prayer, he embraced the idea that if the stewardship From the very beginning and each of the
vision, courage and compassion office helped parishes increase their offertory succeeding 14 years, our good-natured,
and I can testify that he relates to income, then the diocese would also benefit talented bishop has been featured on the
others with love, sensitivity and good humor. since the diocese is supported in part with BSA video. Through this media Bishop
In 1980 Bishop Snyder convened a a percentage of parish offertory income. Snyder “appeared” to diocesan Catholics
committee of priests and laity from across And it’s not surprising that what had the and, at weekend liturgies, encouraged the
the diocese to plan for the financial future most appeal for our bishop was that we people to “take a step in faith” and increase
of the Diocese of Saint Augustine. After would be encouraging people to be more their gift to the parish, diocese and the poor
three years of meetings the committee generous to the parish and the poor out of out of gratitude to a loving God who has
recommended to Bishop Snyder that an a sense of gratitude. This faith dimension given us everything.
Office of Stewardship be established and of giving was far different from giving for A Diocesan Education Task Force
a Catholic Foundation be put in place to “needs” that has been our history. Now presented a huge challenge to Bishop
provide for the long-range financial stability Bishop Snyder speaks of “my need to give Snyder in 1999 when they recommended
of the diocese. in response to God’s many gifts to me.” that two new high schools were needed
Thanks to the efforts of a search The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese and called for immediate major renovation
committee I was chosen and officially of Saint Augustine was established in 1987. and expansion of the facilities at Saint Joseph
opened the Stewardship Office on March That same year we began introducing Academy in St. Augustine. Diocesan staff
17, 1986. My wife Barbara and I had been “sacrificial giving”. brought forth other critical needs as well:
actively promoting sacrificial giving of The first 36 parishes experienced an an endowment for growing numbers of
treasure many years before the concept of average 41 percent increase in offertory men in seminary education and formation,
stewardship was introduced to American income. The following year the Bishop’s inner city schools, improved catechetical
Catholics. Stewardship Appeal (BSA) was introduced instruction and expansion of Morning
Bishop Snyder showed his willingness to give our people an opportunity to support Star School in Jacksonville.
to take risks and, even though his first diocesan ministries by sharing one percent To his credit, Bishop Snyder convened
instinct was to have a massive fund drive, of their annual income with the diocese. all diocesan pastors to decide a course of
By Francis Scholtz
18 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
action. After much thoughtful discussion was absolutely essential to the success of
it was decided that a feasibility study would this huge endeavor and did everything he
help the diocese determine whether or not could to help. We must not forget the
there was sufficient support for a major professional counsel, and the extraordinary
capital campaign. The feasibility study commitment and leadership provided by the
indicated that the diocese could expect to campaign’s three co-chairs, Robert Shircliff,
raise $30 million. Mary Hughes and John McLaughlin. Their
The diocesan campaign “The Opportunity dedication and hard work helped us to
of a Lifetime for our children, our faith, our exceed our goal.
future” is now in its final stages. Close to Stewardship is still alive and well following
$37 million has been raised — a marvelous the campaign. In this year’s Bishop’s Steward-
testimony to thousands of Catholics who ship Appeal video he stated that “the most
supported Bishop Snyder in this once-in- important heritage he would be leaving the
a-lifetime effort. diocese after shepherding it for 21 years
Bishop Snyder, knowing he was retiring, was the introduction and promotion of
could have left this massive project to the stewardship and sacrificial giving. ”
next bishop of Saint Augustine. However, Bishop Snyder is a man of prayer, vision,
he felt this would not be in the best interest courage and compassion who is loved by all
of our children and would not be fair to who know him. It has been my privilege to
his successor so he wholeheartedly threw have worked with him for the past 15years
himself into the campaign. He attended — what a blessing!
meetings, many campaign gatherings,
countless campaign receptions and luncheons
and took on the task of making one more Francis Scholtz recently retired as Director of the
video for the campaign. Bishop Snyder Office of Stewardship. Catholic Bishops of Florida gathered in front of the
Cathedral- Bascilia, St. Augustine in 1998 for Bishop Snyder’s
25th episcopal ordination.
THE PASTOR, PRIESTS AND PARISHIONERS
FROM THE CHURCH OF ST. PAUL IN JACKSONVILLE BEACH
THANK YOU BISHOP SNYDER
FOR YOUR MANY YEARS OF LOVING AND DEDICATED SERVICE
OUR PRAYERS AND BEST WISHES ARE WITH YOU
AS YOU BEGIN YOUR RETIREMENT YEARS
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 19
Disabled By Sister Rita Baum, SSJ
When the name of our new bishop was announced in 1979, I
decided to ask (again) that a ministry with Catholics who are
deaf become a program of the Diocese of Saint Augustine. I
wrote to our new bishop in Brooklyn, recommending this. In
just a few weeks after his installation, he phoned me to ask
when we could meet and discuss my proposal.
he only other time that I had disabled, convents that had been turned disability needs they had identified. Father
met with a bishop was after I had into group homes, a camp that served 800 Rene Robert served and continues to serve
made an appointment through children with disabilities, and an equal at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind
his secretary. Bishop Snyder’s informality number of high school students trained in St. Augustine — training interpreters
felt refreshing. This was the first of many to be their buddies in the summer. so that the deaf ministry could spread
steps I’ve seen him take to be very personal Bishop Snyder had been well prepared throughout the diocese. A subsequent
in ministry and to encourage fullness of for this ministry while in Brooklyn. There, director of the disabilities ministry, Jack
life for persons with disabilities. he had been invited each year to preside Green, developed Camp I Am Special,
Not only was he interested in a ministry at confirmation for the special religious closely resembling the style of camp that
for Catholics who are deaf, but also he education classes. Here, he continued to we saw in Brooklyn.
wanted to expand the ministry to include all encourage full participation by persons with For many years certain parents requested
disabilities. It was his idea to hire someone disabilities, including having an altar server a Catholic residence for their sons and
else to do deaf ministry and I would move with a disability at all the confirmations and daughters with disabilities. As awareness
to Jacksonville (my home town) and direct for most of the diocesan liturgical events. grew, support grew for funding this needed
a ministry to persons with disabilities. This has touched many hearts, not the least service. Our bishop paved the way by
I protested at first because I didn’t know of which is that of the faithful server, Robert. allowing the former St. Mary’s Home,
anything about mental retardation — the When I returned from Brooklyn to located next to Christ the King Parish,
largest group of people with disabilities. Jacksonville, I wondered how we could to become a residential property known as
He told me, “I’ll arrange for you to go to duplicate in North Florida what I had seen Harbor House. It quickly grew to include
Brooklyn for a week and the staff there there. Life seems slower in Florida, and very four homes, a workshop and an extended
will show you what they’re doing.” personal, and we were sparsely populated family of friends that reached beyond the
In Brooklyn, diocesan staff members were compared to Brooklyn. I was also fearful of boundaries of the diocese.
eager to talk about their friend “Jack.” They attempting anything as big as I had seen. When issues were raised relating to the
treated me royally. They were pleased that So the ministry began small, with a philosophy of Harbor House, it was Bishop
he had sent me to learn from them. They secretary and myself traveling from parish Snyder who suggested that the Board of
showed me high-rise residences for the to parish, listening to pastors tell me what Directors spend a year in prayer, to study
20 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
and discern whether it was best for the In addition to administrative roles, there I’m dressed, you’d wonder which of us is
homes to join the international community are numerous personal stories, and here the clown!”
of L’Arche. A year later he encouraged are just a few. On another occasion, Bishop Snyder was
their separation (structurally) from the At an early Faith and Sharing Retreat at presiding at a liturgy and a person with a
diocese so it could become a L’Arche Camp St. John, a retreatant with Downs mental handicap followed everyone up for
Harbor House community assuring a Syndrome was feeling sad because Bishop communion although she wasn’t Catholic.
continuity of philosophy and spirit. Snyder had not said “Good Night” to her. The Eucharistic minister said to her, “This
When Marywood was designed, Bishop When he heard this, he excused himself is the Body of Christ.” She paused for a
Snyder made sure it was fully accessible from a group of friends to join her in the moment, and then responded, “Well ain’t
which meant providing additional financial chapel. She was sitting cross-legged on the that something!” Then she received as she’d
support. Even today, it is one of the few floor. He sat likewise beside her. She, so seen others do. On the way back to her
fully accessible retreat centers in the country. comforted by his presence, put her head seat, she told her acquaintances, “That’s the
Someone who uses a wheelchair can feel on his shoulder and fell asleep. When the nicest man up there — he just gave me the
at home there and even enjoy the beautiful bishop tells this story he closes with “There Body of Christ.” The event was shared with
view of the St. Johns River from a dock I was with a lovely woman asleep in my the bishop following Mass, and he said, “If
that stretches out over the water for several arms that even my mother would approve.” only we would all receive with such faith!”
hundred feet. On another occasion, he was vested and We have been blessed with a leader who
From the beginning, word spread ready for the entrance procession at the lives the words of Jesus, “The last shall be
nationally that persons with disabilities had Cathedral. Regina, blind and in a clown first.” And “The least among you will be
a home in the heart of Bishop Snyder. He costume for a scriptural interpretation, told the greatest.”
was invited to serve on national boards that him that she had gotten left behind and
represented all areas of disabilities. He not had no one to guide her. He suggested she
only participated actively on these boards, but take his arm and walk in with him. She
also spoke on their behalf to other bishops asked, “What will people think when they Sister of St. Joseph Rita Baum now lives at
and influenced the growth of disabilities see you coming in with a clown?” He Nazareth Homes for persons with mental
ministries in dioceses throughout the country. responded, “Regina, if you could see how handicaps in Boca Raton, Florida.
Best Wishes to
Bishop John Snyder on His Retirement
For all you have done
and for all you have given
in the name of Jesus —
From Rev. Dan Cody, Pastor, and
the entire St. Joseph’s Parish Community
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 21
for Tomorrow By Patricia A. Tierney
ooking through the Bishop Kenny
yearbook over the years, one
person’s picture appears on many
of the pages that parents dedicate to their
children. That person is Bishop John Snyder
and the pictures were taken at various
confirmations. In restaurants, airports,
graduations and other events, young adults
come up to him and say: “Hi, Bishop. You
Throughout his 22 years with us, Bishop
Snyder has become so much a part of the
church in Northeast Florida, a bishop who
has faithfully served God’s people and has
taught all of us by his word and example.
He has done this with grace, dignity and
an incredible sense of humor.
In the recent edition of the newsletter Bishop Kenny, after liturgy, seniors are bishop who knows his flock, who is
published by the Diocesan Advisory Board of invited to a cookout. One senior was comfortable with people and a man who can
Education, our school children reflected on overheard saying: “I waited four years for relate to the young very well. The children
Bishop Snyder: the man, priest, and bishop. this day.” A second grader said that he caught his warm personality and spirituality.
One story, related by two students from was impressed with his attire. “The bishop His holiness comes from his love for the
two different schools, has become a part of wore this large silver cross on a chain in Eucharist and the Word of God. A child
the lore surrounding our bishop. Someone the middle of his chest. I think he wears wrote: “You remind me of Jesus because you
once asked him if he had any great ambition it underneath his shirt when he’s not always care for the poor.” Another said: “My
to become anyone other than who he was. wearing his official bishop’s outfit.” best memory of you is when you came to
He hesitated and said: “Well, I always wanted Bishop Snyder is known for his terrific my house when my brother was hurt and
to be a Cardinal!” Bishop Snyder then said: memory, especially names. A seventh grader you blessed him with holy oils.”
“But I never had a good enough curve ball!” wrote: “I once served at a confirmation I have tried to capture the spirit of a man
From another school, a child reported: Mass for him. He was very nice and asked who spent so much of his time, along with
“When I became a Catholic, I went to one me my name and age. Two years later when a myriad of other duties, serving the youth of
of your Masses. It was great. Your clothes I served again, he remembered my name our diocese — supporting religious education
were awesome. I had never seen a hat like and even figured out how old I was then.” programs, visiting our Catholic schools,
yours.” At an annual “Bishop’s Day” at What has emerged over the years is a showing up at Search retreats, countless
22 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
confirmations (homilies that are still building of new schools as well as the
remembered), youth days, Camp I am 2) Diocesan Advisory Board of Education.
Special, Faith and Sharing, and so many DABE has been an invaluable asset as it
other events. He has also supported the has dealt with issues such as salaries, school
Alliance for Catholic Education, a teacher board training, finances, and technology;
program sponsored by the University of 3) Guardian of Dreams: assistance to St. Pius
Notre Dame which has sent teachers to V and Holy Rosary schools that educate
our diocese for the past eight years. lower income children; 4) the Task Force
Recently, the Catholic school community on Secondary Schools, out of which came
wanted to honor Bishop Snyder. The Bishop the recommendation to build a high school
John J. Snyder, “Peace in Christ Award” will on the westside of Jacksonville and gradually
be given annually to an eighth grader and grew into the 5) The Opportunity of a
senior in each school. Students are selected Lifetime capital campaign. His last year
based on their faith, commitment to service has been spent tirelessly going out to raise
and humility, qualities that Bishop Snyder funds for Catholic education, namely, two
models in his everyday life. new high schools, expansion and renovation
Our schools are strong because of his of St. Joseph Academy and Morning Star
leadership and our students have witnessed, School and endowments for priestly
first hand, a man for others. Five benchmarks formation, Christian Formation and take very long to get to know him. The
characterize his vision and support of the Guardian of Dreams. Bishop John J. tree might have grown up in Brooklyn,
Catholic education in the Diocese of Snyder High School will be a testimony but it has born so much fruit with us and
Saint Augustine which has positioned to this campaign and to his generous he truly became and remains “our dear,
our schools as we have entered into the service. The mascot for this new school beloved bishop.”
twenty-first century. is appropriately named “the Cardinals.”
1) The Task Force on Elementary Schools, He came from Brooklyn 22 years ago, Patricia Tierney is superintendent of Catholic
established in 1991, set in motion the knowing very few here. However, it didn’t Schools for the Diocese of Saint Augustine.
Extends Warmest Gratitude
to our retired Shepherd
Bishop John J. Snyder
and offers assurance of
CHARISMATIC RENEWAL CENTER
Thank you, Bishop Snyder, for your
faithfulness to our faithfulness
in spreading the Gospel
“It is not enough to discover Christ –
you must bring Him to Others!”
—Pope John Paul II
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 23
On Tuesday, June 26, Most Reverend
John J. Snyder, bishop of the Diocese
of Saint Augustine, formally
announced his successor.
ishop Snyder submitted his letter
of retirement to Pope John Paul II
last October at the mandatory age
of 75. He became bishop on Dec. 5, 1979.
He served as the diocesan administrator
of more than 143,000 Northeast Florida
Catholics until his successor was ordained
and installed on August 21.
Seated in the living room of the Cathedral
Parish rectory on Treasury Street in June,
he described himself as relaxed and ready
for his successor. Bishop Snyder lives in
the rectory in St. Augustine and commutes
to the Catholic Center in Jacksonville.
He will move to Casa San Pedro, the new
priest retirement center on the St. Johns River
near the diocesan retreat center, Marywood.
“My predecessor, Bishop (Paul) Tanner
said that he would be leaving for Palm Beach
immediately after I was installed and he
did,’’ Bishop Snyder said.
21 Fruitful Years
As Bishop of St. Augustine
By Margo C. Pope
24 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Bishop Snyder wants to stay close by. “You
can be sure if it wasn’t a good experience,
and broken ground for school additions,
including St. Joseph Academy. Recently, Tenure focused on
I wouldn’t be staying around,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, he’s focused on fundraising.
Last year, he launched a $30 million capital
campaign entitled The Opportunity of a
he broke ground for the new Bishop
John J. Snyder High School located on
Jacksonville’s Westside near Chafee Road
and 103rd Street.
Lifetime, to provide for Catholic education Bishop Snyder’s tenure hasn’t all been By Margo C. Pope
into the 21st century. Since, the campaign about fundraising, though.
has closed in on that goal and there’s a
new goal: $45 million. By all indications,
In his first few months in the diocese,
he looked at ways to strengthen the faith T he Most Rev. John J. Snyder,
bishop of the Diocese of Saint
Augustine, has enhanced the role of the
it will be met, he believes. community and establish greater bonds
Starting the campaign when he did, he between the church and the laity. laity in the church’s leadership by creating
says, frees his successor from having to do He brought in two programs initially the Ministry Formation Program.
so at the beginning of his tenure. to do this: Emmaus for priests and Renew The program brings lay people together
Bishop Snyder says he plans to get out for the laity. from all backgrounds in a commitment
of his successor’s way for the first year and “In Pre-Vatican II, people had a deep of three years of study.
do some traveling and visiting family and faith but it was a private faith,’’ Bishop Bishop Snyder said the program helps
friends. Later, he plans to maintain some Snyder said. “After Vatican II, we were give the laity its rightful role in the church
involvement with the prison ministry and encouraged to be among the people, to as leaders. “They have to know that this
other special care ministries. lead by example. Renew focuses on small is their church … When you have a voice,
He also wants to learn how to use a groups coming together. Then there was you have the sense it is your church.’’
computer. “But you must remember, when the Cursillo program, Marriage Encounter, Father Timothy Lindenfelser, associate
you are talking computers, you are dealing and through these programs, people began pastor at the cathedral, has been one of
with the consummate illiterate.’’ to open up to one another, to realize we the bishop’s masters of ceremonies for
Marywood, Casa San Pedro and the are not making the journey alone.” many years. He has observed this regular
Catholic Center are among several buildings “I would hope that we as a diocese contact with the laity. Part of his job has
Bishop Snyder oversaw from construction have grown closer to Jesus Christ,’’ he been to travel with Bishop Snyder to
forward. He’s also opened new churches said, in retrospect. events throughout the diocese.
continued on page 27 “Frequently on our travels around
the diocese he would insist on making
detours to visit someone who was sick
in the hospital or to visit one of the
many construction sites throughout the
diocese,’’ Lindenfelser said. “We would
even stop off at Marywood and Camp
St. John to visit a group of retreatants.
Most of our conversations in the car
would not be about the latest gossip of
the church, but about the extraordinary
faith lives of our people and how devoted
they are to following the Lord and how
strong their faith is during the good
times and the difficult times.
“He would frequently read to me
the confirmation letters children wrote
to him and they would give both of
us great joy and hope for the future,’’
Another area that has received his
keen attention has been the ministry
to the disabled which holds camps
during the summer.
The camps recruit young people to
work with the disabled youths and Bishop
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 25
Zardon Bello, Remi Blaszkowski,
Richard Brady, Dung Bui,
Angel Corrales, Ronnie Custorio,
Warmest Best Wishes To
JOHN J. SNYDER
Richard Perko, Beau Porter,
Wil Stead, Ruben Suarez,
Peter Tomczak, Jason Trull,
Matthew West, and Adrian Wojcik
The Seminarians of the
Diocese of Saint Augustine
thank you for your
leadership and support
Father John Tetlow
We are thankful for
Bishop Your 22 years of Leadership
John J. Snyder
Our Prayers Go
are filled with
and your love.
✮✭ DIOCESE OF SAINT AUGUSTINE
26 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
“I always wanted to be
a Cardinal but I couldn’t
hit a curve ball.” —Bishop Snyder
Father D. Terrence Morgan, pastor of They’re Catholics, too, he said. By
Snyder said that, too, has had an effect. the Cathedral-Basilica, said Bishop Snyder’s reaching out, Bishop Snyder said he has
Some of the young workers end up leadership begins with his prayer model. also been able to meet some of the parents.
majoring in special education. “Prayer is the center of his life, even though “They’ll tell you, ’he didn’t choose to be
The camps, he said, give the parents he does not come off as a Holy Joe (or Holy that way,’ and they are so appreciative of
of the campers a break, too. Jack, I guess). Because I live with him, I what we do.”
In his almost 22 years as bishop in know how much time he spends in front A gathering two years ago at Assumption
the diocese, Bishop Snyder also has of the Blessed Sacrament, laying his life Parish in Jacksonville, sanctioned by Bishop
enhanced Catholic social welfare services, before our Lord and ceaselessly seeking Snyder, drew criticism.
expanded the Catholic school system, the intercession of the Blessed Mother.’’ “You know you’re vulnerable,’’ he said
provided greater access to the church at In the last two years, Bishop Snyder has explaining that Jesus Christ, too, was
large, built new churches, and participated stepped out and welcomed gays and lesbians vulnerable and ended up being crucified.
in the recruitment of not only young into the church. “So, I’m in pretty good company.
future priests but older ones having a continued on page 28
Reaching out into the community,
Bishop Snyder has been ministering to
prisoners. He recently made one of his
regular trips to Union Correctional
Institute and says that he hopes to do
more with the prison ministry in his
On the lighter side, he enjoys his
visits with elementary school children.
“When I go out to speak to students,
they ask me, ‘Do you want to be Pope?’
and I say, ‘no.’ Then they ask, ‘Do you
want to be a Cardinal?’ and then I say,
‘I always wanted to be a Cardinal but
I couldn’t hit a curve ball.’ ’’
Bishop Snyder was referring to his
support for the St. Louis Cardinals
baseball team when he was young.
Last spring, during the annual
Diocesan Scouting Awards, Bishop
Snyder found out how much his stories
remains with some people. “After the
ceremony, this little third grader came
up to me and said, ‘so, you couldn’t
hit a curve ball?’ ’’
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 27
“You get six or eight letters but then kind of leadership,’’ he said. “It is so
you think, there are 143,000 others who vitally important to work together.’’
aren’t writing letters.’’ The Most Reverend Robert J. Baker,
Bishop Snyder is a quiet leader, says the bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, S.C.,
Rev. Milton E. Jordan, executive director was Cathedral pastor for 13 years and
of The Papal Foundation in Philadelphia. observed Bishops Snyder’s role within
Father Jordan has observed him at work the church and outside of it first hand.
on the National Conference of Catholic “I benefited personally and pastorally
Bishops and has heard from others of his from the experience, not knowing then
work for Catholic Relief Services. “He that this would happen to me (being a
is a behind-the-scenes type of guy.’’ bishop),’’ said Bishop Baker whose diocese
Father Jordan lived at the cathedral covers South Carolina which is only about
rectory from 1984-85 while a doctoral three percent Catholic.
student at the University of Florida. “I “He is even tempered even in stressful
always have admired the man. In the year situations and he deals with you in a wise
I was there, every morning, he would be and caring manner. His energy is something
kneeling in his chapel for an hour in prayer. I wish I had a small portion of.’’
And that was after he had been riding his Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop
stationary bicycle for an hour. He was an Snyder bishop on Oct. 2, 1979. He was an
incredible role model for me.’’ auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Brooklyn
Bishop Snyder supports ecumenism before that. He was installed as the diocese’s
and was honored by the then National eighth bishop in the Cathedral-Basilica of
Council of Christian and Jews (now St. Augustine on Dec. 5, 1979.
National Conference for Community
and Justice). “I would hope that my Stories by Margo C. Pope. Reprinted with
successor will continue to foster that permission from The St. Augustine Record.
Thanks and John J. Snyder
Bishop We Are
John J. Snyder Grateful
for 22 years of outstanding
leadership and ministry, to
the people of your diocese The People
and the Church! and Priests
Bishop John F. Kinney,
Bishop George H. Speltz, St. Catherine
and the people of the Parish,
Diocese of Orange Park
Saint Cloud, MN
28 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
T hrough the Years
Early days at the Seminary of Immaculate Conception, Huntington, Long Island. Bishop Jack and his older brother.
Scenes from Bishop Snyder’s student days at Cathedral Prep in Brooklyn (above and below).
Looking for a handout on the streets of Flushing.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 29
Parents, Katherine Walsh and John Joseph Snyder. A rising basketball star at Cathedral Prep! Introducing a baby to the life of Christ through baptism.
Bishop Snyder concelebrates Mass with Bishop Francis J. Mugavero of Brooklyn. Bishop Snyder (second from left) and other religious leaders march for peace.
Por su ministerio,
su amistad y su apoyo
Southeast Regional Office
for Hispanic Ministry, Inc.
30 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
The bishop and his disciples. “Uncle Jack” with his nieces and nephews.
Below: Celebrating the Eucharist at the 125th anniversary of the Diocese of Saint Augustine.
Remembering those who served: The late Gail Adey Acebal and Bishop Paul
Tanner at the dedication of the Catholic Center.
Prayers Best Wishes
and good Bishop
wishes to Most Reverend John J. Snyder
John J. Snyder Fr om
The Saint Augustine Diocese
Bishop of Catholic for Human
Catholic Campaign for Human
Saint Augustine, Rev. Edward
Rev. Edward Rooney
Rev. Anthony G. Sebra
“A hand up, not a hand out”
Sacred Heart Parish, you peace,
“If you want peace,
work for justice”
Pope Paul VI
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 31
Reflections about Bishop Snyder
From a Former Cathedral Pastor the priests of the rectory and the area on a major document, the Letter to Christians
Sunday nights was always an uplifting in Florida, an ecumenical statement by
Most Reverend Robert J. Baker experience. religious leaders of Christian churches in
Bishop of Charleston He would consistently generate a the State of Florida on the thorny issue
positive point of view to what others might of capital punishment. This is, I believe,
see as a dismal situation. Bishop Snyder’s the only document of its kind on capital
I n the 13 years
I resided at the
priests always enjoyed his company.
He had a way also of encouraging the
punishment in our country. Bishop Snyder
was the bishop who had the idea for it
with Bishop John best in an individual and drawing it out. and brought the idea to reality.
Snyder, while I was I never felt cramped or confined in my I was amazed that religious leaders of
pastor of Cathedral- role as pastor of Cathedral parish with the other denominations could get together
Basilica Parish in bishop close by. I knew where he stood, and and find a common meeting-ground with
St. Augustine, I I presume he knew where I was coming our Catholic bishops on this issue. That
personally witnessed from. There was mutual respect, which they did so was a compliment to Bishop
a bishop living out enabled our working relationship to be Snyder’s leadership and his ecumenical
the motto he had what I considered a healthy one. sensitivity. I see what happened in Florida
chosen for his episcopacy. Bishop Snyder’s There were areas of my responsibility as as a challenge to bishops in other areas of
Coat of Arms was displayed on a banner in pastor of the Cathedral parish that connected the country to work collaboratively with
his chapel in the Cathedral rectory. On it the parish with diocesan events constantly, religious leaders on areas of mutual interest
is the words: Peace in Christ. but I feel we were able to blend those such as capital punishment.
His own spiritual life, deeply rooted situations harmoniously all those years so Bishop Snyder’s social conscience led him
in daily prayer, and his daily regimen of that the Cathedral was able to serve well to strong stands on the issue of peace. He
exercise, both of which he began early the parish and the diocese. was a great advocate of the United States
in the day, promoted in him a peaceful Potential situations of conflict were Bishops’ Peace Pastoral. And Bishop Snyder
composure that was truly remarkable. The always quickly resolved, so that the peace supported people who did not sit idly by
ever-present smile on his face that was a of Christ reigned. Bishop Snyder’s peace- watching from the sidelines as the threat
perennial characteristic of him reflected filled personality was the principal factor of nuclear proliferation grew. As a bishop
on inner peace that he possessed. Truly that gave rise to this upbeat pastoral he was a strong proponent of peace. Once
that was a grace he was given and a gift approach at Cathedral parish. again he lived out his Episcopal motto
he projected onto others — to those who I also witnessed personally Bishop Snyder’s “Peace in Christ.”
had the good fortune of knowing him, strong social conscience. Early on he enlisted I am especially grateful that Bishop Snyder
those working in collaboration with him, my help in drawing up what I considered allowed me the latitude to experiment with
or those being served by him.
The daily strains and stresses of episcopal
ministry seemed not to weigh on him too
heavily. As a man of peace he welcomed the
daily challenges of ministry to his people as
Bishop John J. Snyder
Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Augustine.
I am sure his pastoral experience of many
years assisting bishops in the Diocese of
Brooklyn as Secretary to Bishops and as
Vicar General figured as well into his
For Your Retirement
preparedness for ministry as shepherd
of the Saint Augustine Diocese. The Faithful of Corpus Christi Parish, St. Augustine
It was a joy to reside with Bishop Snyder
those 13 years. Dinner with him at the Fr. William C. Mooney, Pastor
rectory as well as dining out with him and
32 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
a social agenda while in St. Augustine, thanks for his friendship, his example, find out who won. Usually it was Msgr.
enlisting community support and the and his support. I now rely heavily on Snyder who took home the money and
support of other churches to meet the needs his witness of episcopal leadership for even won a trophy for a 250+ game.
of transients in the community who were my own meager efforts in attempting to Six years later, Father Tim Divine and I
drifting in off I-95 and coming to our lead and guide the people of God in the were invited to live at the bishop’s
collective church rectory doors or offices. Diocese of Charleston. residence with Bishop Mugavero and
He gave me the green light to Msgr. Snyder. It was the fall of 1969, the
collaborate with others in establishing Rev. Ralph L. Besendorfer J.C.D. year the Met’s won the pennant. We
St. Francis House in St. Augustine, as I cajoled the bishop into taking us to the
had previously done with other churches Judicial Vicar opening game of the World Series. It was
in Gainesville. The existence of both of in Baltimore. It was the only game the
Met’s lost. Even though Bishop Snyder
these charitable endeavors today is the
result of Bishop Snyder’s continuing
concern for the needy. At a time when
A lthough Msgr. Snyder was present
at my ordination to the priesthood
in 1959, as secretary to the Bishop of
was a Cardinals fan, he gradually warmed
up to the Mets.
federal and state governments were cutting Brooklyn, we became friends three years In 1972 when Bishop Snyder was
back on institutions for the mentally and later when I was appointed to the diocesan announced the new Auxiliary Bishop
emotionally challenged and the needy, the Chancery-Tribunal. A group of us, diocesan of Brooklyn, we all rejoiced. I had been
church was called upon to take up the slack. workers, lived across from the bishop’s out at a lengthy dinner meeting and had
St. Francis House and the St. Vincent residence and decided to invite our been “rejoicing” a bit too much. That
de Paul Farm were two efforts that arose “neighbors” for dinner. We had to borrow evening I pledged my loyalty to him, and
in the St. Augustine area to assist the the “good china” and silverware from the to this day he says that was the only time
community in meeting the social challenges sisters of St. Joseph convent. During the I made sense. Little did we realize at that
of the Gospel. Bishop Snyder graciously conversation we explained how a group time that we would work together for
gave his blessings to these efforts. of us went bowling on Monday nights. another 25 years.
One could go on and on in listing the Bishop McEntegart suggested, “Why don’t There are so many stories that could be
ways Bishop Snyder served our diocese in you join them Jack?” From that night on, told, but like the Gospel says “These are
the bishop no longer had Monday evening told that you may believe” that Bishop
joy, in hope, in peace, and in love. I present
appointments and would usually wait up Snyder has filled his humanity with the
just these few examples as a modest way of
till Msgr. Snyder would come home to Spirit of Love and tried to lead others
giving tribute to his ministry and to say
along the path of life.
The Priests, Staff, Parish
and School Thank You for
Your Many Years of
Dedicated Service. We
Wish You Peace, Joy and
The Love of Jesus Christ in
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 33
Bishop John J. Snyder
May God continue to favor you with good health and
many blessings in your retirement years
With Love & Gratitude
Your Christ the King Family
Christ the King Catholic Church
A Total Stewardship Parish
Awarded An ‘Excellent Catholic Parish’ in the United States by Paulist Press 2001
742 Arlington Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32211
34 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Father James R. Boddie, Jr. Bishop Snyder has always had a deep
respect for all cultures and races in the
Pastor, St. Pius V Parish diocese. He always called forth the
reconciliation and the working together
B ishop John
has always been a
of all the people of God in the diocese.
Bishop Snyder lived by example regarding
the issues of equality, peace and justice.
holy, understanding He lived what he preached. H reached out
bishop and a great to the poor, outcast and those in prison
friend. His humility and the victims of crime.
and sincerity has He has been and will always be my
always been brother in Christ and my good friend.
genuine. As Bishop Snyder begins his retirement,
When Bishop I know that he will not be idle, for he has
Snyder became a great love for the Lord Jesus, the church
bishop of Saint Augustine, St. Pius V Parish and the people of God. The Lord still has
and Catholic school were among the first work for him to do in his retirement years. of God. He welcomed me and assured me
parishes he visited. St. Pius V from that Thank you, Bishop Snyder for 22 years of that although there was no formal Diaconate
time to present recognized the great sincerity shepherding the Diocese of Saint Augustine. Program in place in the diocese, the deacons
and holiness of Bishop Snyder. He has who were here (from other places like
always felt at home at St. Pius V. Deacon Jim Casapulla myself), were enjoying not only faculties
Bishop Snyder has always been very to serve but that the need was overwhelming
supportive of me in my various ministries Pastoral Associate, St. Elizabeth Ann and that he was supportive of ministry of
in the diocese. He recognized the uniqueness Seton Parish, Palm Coast permanent deacons.
of me being the first African-American Needless to say that over the past ten
ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese
of Saint Augustine and in the State of
Florida and he has always affirmed me
W hen I came to the Diocese of
Saint Augustine in April 1991, I
met Bishop Snyder for the first time and
years, I and all of the permanent deacons
who were here and those who have since
come, have been richly blessed with Bishop
in that uniqueness to minister to all the immediately knew that I was in the presence Snyder’s leadership, his example, his
people of God in the diocese. of a prayerful and Christ-centered servant hospitality, his gift of enabling, and his
For All of Your
From brochures to direct mail...
product catalogs to magazines.
SERVING JAX FOR OVER 25 YEARS
4613 Philips Highway, Suite 202
Jacksonville, Florida 32207
Ph: (904) 367-0002 Fax: (904) 367-0030
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 35
constant support of both of our vocations Mary Flanagan encouraging lay ministry and Bishop Snyder
as married permanent deacons. was no exception. Early on, in my work
We have answered his invitations on Lay Minister of Spirituality at as a counselor at St. Augustine Parish and
the diocesan level, in service in some St. Augustine Parish and Catholic Catholic Student Center in Gainesville, I
agencies and on some diocesan boards, Student Center, Gainesville decided to focus my work more particularly
we have functioned in different parishes in the area of spirituality. Because my
throughout the diocese in response to his
request to serve, and we have always felt
included because Bishop Snyder made it
I have to
I was disposed to
education to that point was in psychology
and mental health counseling, I felt I
needed to return to graduate school to
a point to be sure that we come to the like Bishop Snyder study Catholic theology and spirituality.
yearly retreat, that we have a presence at even before I met I applied to Weston Jesuit School of
diocesan liturgical events, and that we him because the Theology in Cambridge, Mass., asking also
were recognized in the diocesan first glimpse I had for financial aid. They requested that I also
publications and media. of him was in a look for funding from my diocese, which
He was always a brother and a friend, newspaper photo I did through a letter to Bishop Snyder
accessible and easy to speak to and had a showing him sitting outlining my background and goals. Happily
deep concern for our ministry. He also had with a group of for me, he approved funding for my tuition
a sincere graciousness for our wives and kindergartners on one of those little and also for some Spanish language study
the ministry we shared with them in our chairs, all wearing Burger King crowns. I later undertook. I have used all of those
vocations of marriage. He never failed Bishop Snyder has been very supportive studies in my work at St. Augustine’s and
to ask about them or when with them, of my work and me as a career lay minister, in various ways within the diocese.
ALWAYS knew their name! as he has with so many other people I know. Bishop Snyder continued to impress me
It is truly sad that our shepherd, Bishop Initially, his leadership and personal manner in many ways. I appreciated the justice
John, leaves the diocesan chair, but our encouraged me to consider working within issues he supported. He was particularly
spirits are uplifted because his health is the church, something I was just having encouraging on women’s issues, listening
good and his choice to remain here in the glimmers of when he came to the diocese. seriously to the concerns of many of our
diocese during his retirement means that Professional lay ministry wasn’t very women parishioners who felt disenfranchised
these relationships we’ve forged with him prominent in the church at that time, at within the church . Along with the other
can continue to be shared for many years least not in the South as far as I could tell, Florida bishops, he publicized the ways in
to come. but the North American bishops had been which women and their dependent children
May God Bless You,
as you continue to use
your many gifts
in the service of
Rev. Luke McLoughlin,
Pastor, and the Staff of
the Parish and school at
St. Matthew parish,
History of The Church in Florida
at St. Matthew’s Church Jacksonville
36 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
were disproportionately affected by poverty.
I noticed too that, from the moment he
came to the diocese, he began including
lay people from various parts of the diocese
on committees and task forces. I remember
being on a spiritual renewal committee
that researched various renewal programs
in order to implement one for our diocese.
Part of that work included a conference
good and faithful
in Miami for the Southern province—a
great conference but a long van trip to
Miami. Bishop Snyder rode right along
with us and worked as diligently as anyone,
attending all the meetings and accepting
all our remarks for consideration. In forming
this image of him early on in my ministry,
I have never doubted that he would be
available to our parishioners and groups
unfailingly when I have encouraged them
Bishop John J. Snyder
to contact him with their concerns and
he always has been.
I am very reluctant to see him retire but
thank you for 22 years of
he certainly deserves long years of relaxation.
I am deeply indebted to him for the
dedicated service to the
inspiration and leadership he has given me
for so many years. Church in Florida
Ann and Bob Funkhouser and the
Marriage Preparation ministers, St.
Augustine Church and Catholic Student
Diocese of St. Augustine
Archbishop John C. Favalora,
Gilberto Fernández and
M y first conscious memory of
you is being greeted by name at
the open house of the Catholic Center.
Obviously I had met you before! I
remember being shocked that you knew
and the people of the
the names of Bob and I, and our friend,
Jeff Atwater, who later became a son-in-
Archdiocese of Miami
law. I was totally in awe of your memory
when I left to return to Gainesville that
day, and continue to be in awe today.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 37
What drew me closest to my brothers was the delight of
chatting and laughing together,
of showing our affection for one another
by kindly services; of reading together from
books that spoke of pleasant things;
of joking amicably, disputing now and then
but without resentment, as one is
wont to do with himself; of awakening
by rare contest the pleasure of being one
in mind; of longing for the absent one;
and of tasting joy at his return
We loved each other with all our hearts,
and these marks of our friendship, shown
in our faces, by our voices, in our eyes,
and a thousand other ways, were among us
like ardent flames that fused our souls together
and of many made but one.
St. Augustine, “Confessions”
With great warmth and affection, your priest housemates
at 35 Treasury Street, the rectory staff, and your friends
the Cathedral Parishioners wish you all the best,
Bishop Snyder, in your retirement. Don’t be a stranger!
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine
Always your home, Bishop Jack!
38 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
On another occasion, we brought our dinners shared with you at St. Augustine’s
pre-school Lutheran grandson, Brenden, rectory or Hurley Hall after a confirmation.
to the dedication of Marywood. He quietly It has been an opportunity to see you
listened to all that was happening and when relax and just be. I’m grateful for those
the festivities were over, he declared, “I like opportunities and trust that even though
that man with the red hat!” Of course, we you will no longer be at the helm of the
brought him over to meet you, and you diocese you will continue to come on
bent down to talk with him. Brenden is occasion to share a meal with all of us
now 16 and working his first job during at the Catholic Student Center.
the summer in Charlotte, N.C., where he Bob and I pray that the Lord will bless
lives with his family. you abundantly as you travel down this
In the late 1980s, there was the Woman’s new path on the journey of life.
Conference that a group of us put on at
St. Augustine Parish. You graciously Dr. Michael Gannon
attended, heard our stories, and shared
your story with us. It was a blessing to all Distinguished Service Professor
of the women that you spent the entire Emeritus of History, University sheep.’ I accept that commission to lead,
day with us, participating along with us of Florida, Gainesville to nourish, to walk with you, not as my
in all of the group activities. I felt that for flock, but as ’Jesus’ flock. You are entrusted
the first time, my story had been heard.
In the early 1990s, Bob and I appealed
to you for financial help to attend the PREP
W hen Bishop John J. Snyder was
installed as eighth Bishop of
Saint Augustine, December 1979, he
to me not as my possession, but as His.”
For 22 years Bishop Snyder has reached
past the parish to the parishioners — past
(Prevention and Relationship Enhancement preached a homily that exactly presaged the institutions to individual souls. In the
Program) training in Denver. You kindly what his episcopal ministry here would be: quiet ways of a shepherd he has held out
funded a piece of that endeavor. The devoted pastoral care of God’s people. He his crosier to the poor and the homeless,
knowledge gleaned from that training especially reached out beyond the Catholic to those who are in prison, and to those
continues to help us immeasurably in communion to identify God’s people as all with disabilities. One of the first actions
our ministry to engaged and married people. And at the close of those remarks he he took, as bishop of the diocese was the
couples today. identified himself as a shepherd: “I listen,” establishment of an office for persons with
Perhaps my favorite memories are the he said, “as Jesus commands ‘Feed my disabilities. Another of his driving interests
Bishop Robert J. Baker
Thank you, and
The Diocese of Charleston
for twenty-two extend prayers and gratitude to
years of service
to the people Bishop John J. Snyder
for his loving and devoted service to the Clergy, Religious, and
Diocese of Laity of the Diocese of St. Augustine for the past 22 years.
Nombre de Dios
House of Prayer
at the Mission
34 Ocean Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32086 Thank you, Bishop Snyder, for all you have done and been for all
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 39
that support to benefit your parish, a Catholic
school or other ministry such as Catholic
Charities in our diocese!)
• The transaction is easy to execute.
• You receive an immediate charitable contribution
• You also save on future taxes (some of your payment
is tax free).
• You have no management fees or responsibilities, and no
Some things ARE forever! investment worries about “the market.”
• You can defer the start date of your payments to get even
A charitable gift annuity gives forever ... higher pay rates and boost your retirement income.
first by providing fixed payments to you for life
then by providing income for your church perpetually. Here are a few examples of the return rates
Here’s how it works... One-life Agreement:* Two-life Agreement:*
Age Rate Age Rate
• You transfer an asset (usually cash or appreciated 55 6.0% 65/60 6.2%
securities) to the Catholic Foundation. 65 6.7% 70/65 6.4%
70 7.2% 75/70 6.8%
• The Catholic Foundation gives you a signed agreement 75 7.9% 80/75 7.3%
guaranteeing specific payments each year to you (and/or 80 8.9% 85/80 8.1%
a person you designate) for life. 82 9.4% 90/85 9.2%
For a personal illustration (without obligation), please
• At the end of the contract, the residual gift goes into the contact our Planned Giving Office. You may use the
Foundation’s general funds where it will support Christ’s coupon below to request information or call:
work throughout our diocese (and YES, you may restrict 904-262-3200, ext. 166, or 1-800-775-4659, ext. 166.
*Rates effective July 1, 2001
Please send additional information on the Charitable Gift Annuity. Please return to:
Ms. Denis M. Plumb
Iam already aware of the benefits of a Charitable Gift Annuity and I would Catholic Foundation
like an illustration for: P.O. Box 24000
a one-life agreement: beneficiary birthdate: _________ Jacksonville, FL 32241-4000
a two-life agreement: beneficiaries’ birthdates: ________ and ________
THE CATHOLIC FOUNDATION OF THE DIOCESE OF ST. AUGUSTINE, INC.
has been the religious formation and
academic education of children.
Many of Bishop Snyder’s efforts to make
people’s lives physically easier and spiritually
fulfilled have carried over onto the national
and international forums. On committees
of the United States Catholic Conference
he has worked on behalf of handicapped
and mentally retarded persons across the
country. With Catholic Relief Services
he traveled to Ethiopia in 1987 to study
what might be done to assist that country’s
impoverished populations. In Washington,
D.C. he delivered a powerful address at
the National Cathedral in furtherance of
ecumenical cooperation with members
of the Anglican Communion. And, for a Star Trekking for Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
period of three years ending in 1995, he
was the American Bishops’ leading voice
in the promotion of women’s roles in
society and the church.
Now age alone requires that he pass his
shepherd’s staff to the hands of another. W ith respect to our Carmelite
Community, we would have to
say that our relationship with the Most
Diocesan Council of Catholic Women
As he does so, a grateful diocese says bema
fecisti — well done! And ad multos annos
— many more years!
Reverend Bishop John J. Snyder has been,
first of all, a great privilege based on mutual
B ishop Snyder,
of the Saint
As a historian, I salute him for being respect and cordiality. It has been an honor Augustine
one of Florida’s truly great bishops. May to serve under him as shepherd of this Diocesan Council
there be more like him! diocese and we wish him God speed. of Catholic Women,
Fran Gullman want to thank you
Brother Anthony Gemmato, OCD for all that you have
done for us for the
past 22 years. Your
support has meant
a lot to all of us.
Throughout this time
we have put you through many different
experiences, your first induction into
DCCW past presidents’ night at our
convention was a fashion show with you
as a model, you good-naturedly walked
down the runway to the delight of your
new flock. Things got better from there
— each year at convention you were a
lion tamer, cowboy, Hawaiian dancer, a
person from outer space, and even Elvis
— to name a few, and you always dressed
up, participated with enthusiasm, and
charmed us all.
Your words of wisdom at the Bishop’s
banquet challenged us to work for peace
and justice. We are pleased to have assisted
you in furthering your special interests by
annually celebrating long-term marriages
at the Anniversary Celebrations, celebrating
special persons at Camp I Am Special and
at our annual fashion show, and celebrating
life by sponsoring Born Free to help mothers
in difficult situations. We recognize and
appreciate your serving as liaison and
Episcopal Moderator to the National
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 41
Bishop John J. Snyder
Diocese of Saint Augustine
The Office of Educational Services thanks
you for twenty-one years of support and
encouragement of Catholic Schools in the
Diocese of St. Augustine. You have inspired all
of us to follow Jesus’ command:
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Patricia A. Tierney and Office of Educational Services Staff
Community of Catholic Schools and Diocesan Advisory Board of Education
Prayerful Best Wishes to
Bishop John J. Snyder
on his retirement.
May God grant him
and many years of
Fathers Keith Brennan and
Patrick Murphy, S.J.,
Parish and School Staff
and the Faithful of
Blessed Trinity Parish,
42 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Council of Catholic Women. Women all We both often heard the
same question, “What does
over the country recognize your sensitivity
to women’s issues. the Vicar General do?” I
don’t know how Msgr.
It has been my special privilege to have
Lenihan responded but
worked with you and it was a very special
my usual answer was,
privilege to be able to walk down the runway
as your partner in the last fashion show“Whatever the bishop
you would participate in as our bishop. wants.”
May Our Lady of Good Counsel, Over these years
the patroness of the Council of Catholicof doing what John J.
Women, intercede for you and may Snyder wanted me to do
God bless you as you have blessed us. I’ve learned much from
him and gained a deep
Msgr. Vincent Haut regard for his strong faith
and wide-ranging love.
(l to r), Bob Shircliff, Bishop Snyder, John McLaughlin, Mary Hughes
Vicar General and pastor, He has taught me
St. Catherine Parish, Orange Park much about being a priest
and a friend. He’s taught me about paying Mary Hughes
I have been
attention to everyone and about speaking
out for the weak. He gave me space to
blossom. He groans at my jokes and rolls
Co-Chair “Opportunity of a Lifetime”
general for a long his eyes sometimes at my suggestions, but
time. Before I had he has always loved me as he loves the
this job, Msgr. John
Lenihan used the
people of the Diocese of Saint Augustine.
That’s what the bishop wants. He wants
As I reflect on what has become a
loving and respected friendship
with Bishop Snyder, I am reminded of my
same office —the us to love each other and the poor. You first impressions of his stewardship of the
one right next to don’t have to have an office at the Catholic diocese. Six short years ago, as the new
the bishop. Center to do that. director of the Koch Foundation, it was
not unusual to receive visits from pastors
requesting funds for what was always
described as the most essential and
innovative evangelization effort ever
proposed. The monologue usually ended
with the admonition, “the bishop wants
it funded!” Needless to say, I had to inform
my visitor that in the foundation world
Bishop John J. Snyder there is an axiom, “What the Bishop
wants, the Bishop doesn’t necessarily
get!” What he did get however was my
continuing support and advocacy for
May we express our gratitude programs spreading the Good News
within our diocese.
for your years of guidance, My respect and love has grown
exponentially since agreeing to serve
leadership, and example. as a co-chair of “The Opportunity of
We wish you continued health a Lifetime” capital campaign. The success
of our campaign in the Gainesville deanery
and blessings on your retirement. is directly related to Bishop Snyder’s
leadership. During the past year, after a
full day’s work, he traveled to Gainesville
over 30 times for home receptions, training
sessions, and major donor visits. His untiring
efforts and ability to put the needs of others
Harris, Guidi, Rosner & Mordecai, P.A. ahead of his own demonstrated to our
community what is meant by the Servant
Attorneys at Law Leader, a Follower of the Gentle Jesus.
1837 Hendricks Avenue The Catholic Community of Gainesville
is the better for their enthusiastic support
Jacksonville, FL 32207 of “The Opportunity of a Lifetime.” We
904 - 398-9002 will never forget the home receptions when
the evening ended with Bishop Snyder
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 43
gathering our host families for a special
blessing. The Bishop did get our pledges,
we made our goal but more importantly
he will always have our love and devotion.
Upon reflection, I have become a believer;
“What the Bishop wants, the Bishop gets!”
Father Roland Julien
Dean of the Gainesville Deanery
Member of the College of Consultors
B ishop Snyder
is a very
pastoral bishop —
very close and very
concerned about Dedication of the St. Francis Garden outside the Bishop Tanner Chapel at Bishop Kenny High School.
every priest, parish
One very caring
thing he does is to
put a personal note
and personally sign
Through the many decisions he makes
each day, I know Bishop Snyder relies
greatly on the advice and input from the
B ishop Snyder taught me that the
most precious gifts in community
are humility and the beauty of differences.
a card to every priest and me at Christmas. priests, his diocesan staff and his presbyteral I learned this on the diocese’s first Faith
He also does the same for the anniversary council. The “buck stops here,” but for and Sharing Retreat in 1982 when more
of our priestly ordination. I am sure he some important decisions, he asks the four than 60 individuals — men and women,
knows and understands that we are all deans of the diocese to go back to the priests young and old, clergy and religious,
ministering together and as he supports in their respective deaneries so he can get disabled and able-bodied — came together
my priesthood, he is also strengthening a sense of how all the priests feel about to share faith and unity as the Body of
his own. an issue. Christ. I saw him, in shorts and sandals like
He has done this on a number of all the other retreat-ants, live the mission of
occasions. I especially feel proud about Faith and Sharing and L’Arche — Christ’s
his decision to go ahead with plans for love is revealed when individual gifts are
two new Catholic high schools and a accepted and nurtured.
Best wishes to number of other educational needs in I have always regarded Bishop Snyder as
the diocese. It was a brave step on his part, our shepherd who knows each of his sheep
Bishop John J. Snyder but one which was needed for many years.
He was soon to retire and could have just
by name and who tends his flock lovingly
with pastoral care, but I have now come to
for service, example coasted to an easy retirement. When he
asked the priests of the diocese about what
view him as the father in the parable of the
Prodigal Son. Henri Nouwen wrote: “The
should be done they were all in favor of father of the prodigal son is not concerned
and friendship. “The Opportunity of a Lifetime” capital about himself. His children are his only
campaign. It meant all of us had to work concern, to them he wants to give himself
a little harder, including Bishop Snyder, completely, and for them he wants to pour
but we knew it was something that needed out all of himself.”
to be done. Thank you, Bishop Snyder. Bishop Snyder has poured out himself
completely, supporting the community of
Dottie Klein Harbor House since our beginning by:
❖ challenging us to a year of prayer over
Former Director of L’Arche Harbor House our desire to be a L’Arche community;
❖ believing in our mission during times
of joy and of pain;
❖ being a faithful presence at our
Diocese of Oakland ❖ inspiring successful fundraising by
his personal giving; and
Bishop ❖ blessing us with his love, compassion
John S. Cummins Bishop Snyder became my hero when
he proclaimed at a diocesan event that
“our diocese needs L’Arche.” He knows
Dottie Klein and Harbor House Core Member Andy Doyle.
44 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
that our church needs the prophetic voice
of the mentally poor, for they reveal what Best Wishes
is most precious in each one of us — our
hearts, our desire to love and to be loved. to Bishop Snyder
It is through our hearts that we are able With Graditude
to live the Beatitudes, serving and giving
life to others — just as Bishop Snyder,
our shepherd, our father, our hero, has
Rev. Ed Booth
always done. and the People of God at
David K. Tebo San Juan del Rio
Knights of Columbus Florida State Council Where young, active 1714-3 State Road 13
families worship Jacksonville, Florida
S tate Deputy
Tebo, on behalf of
the Past State
“With Loving Prayers & Support”
wants to Mary, Queen of Heaven Church
congratulate Most Reverend John J. Snyder, 9401 Staples Mill Drive, Jacksonville, FL
former Bishop of Saint Augustine on his
most successful tenure as Bishop of Saint Msgr. R. Joseph James, Pastor
Under Bishop Snyder’s spiritual direction
the Diocese of Saint Augustine has grown.
We have new parishes, additions to existing
churches, and new churches. Bishop Snyder
always has a warm, loving smile for everyone.
Bishop Snyder attended the first annual
Knights of Columbus Charities Ball, which
took place in March 1995, and has given
his support every year following. The monies
raised go to support homes that help unwed
mothers and their children and homes for John J. Snyder
abused women and children. These problems
are close to the bishop’s heart as they are
to the Knights of Columbus.
When Bishop Snyder’s schedule allowed,
Best Wishes for
he attended the culmination of the Run
for Life at the Great Cross at the Mission A Happy Retirement
Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine. The
run, this year was its 13th year, starts in
Homestead and ends in St. Augustine. It
takes the relay team of four runners nine
days to complete the 352-mile run.
Bishop Snyder has held a celebration,
for the past several years, in the Cathedral
in St. Augustine the third Sunday in January
for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Christians
of all faiths joyfully participate.
These are just a few of the things Church
that Bishop Snyder and the Knights of
Columbus have worked hand in hand
over the past years.
May God bless you, Bishop Snyder. May
you be with us for many years to come.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 45
Bishop Snyder says of a Lifetime” capital campaign. In
he plans to do more education, he clearly will be remembered
traveling now that he as the “education bishop” along with his
is retired. He is many other accomplishments because
pictured here with of his support for Catholic schools. His
Msgr. John Lenihan courageous leadership of the capital
aboard a cruise ship campaign will become a legend for future
in Alaska this past generations of Catholics to hold up as an
July. example of true servant leadership. I was
privileged to be a small part of this legacy.
What I will remember most, however, is
how excited he was to be among the people
— how he drew energy, dare I say grace,
from the sheep of his flock. Many a time
during the campaign he was obviously
Msgr. John Lenihan John McLaughlin tired as we drove to a gathering. However,
as soon as he walked among his people he
Former Vicar General Chairman of DABE became energized, clearly delighted to be
Co-Chair of “The Opportunity there. On the way home, it was common
of a Lifetime” campaign for him to speak of how wonderful the
people of the diocese are.
at his installation
as the eighth bishop
I t has been
to serve Bishop
During the campaign there were many
decisions to be made, often regarding
people and being sensitive to their needs.
of Saint Augustine, Snyder through It became easy when I realized the right
many of us felt a our Diocesan question to ask was WWBD — What
new trust and hope Advisory Board Would Bishop Do? It was the same idea
that this man would of Education and as the bracelets that say WWJD — What
be a good shepherd walking in the foot- as a co-chair of Would Jesus Do? More and More as I
steps of the Master. “The Opportunity used this criterion for exercising judgment,
He came as he said, “to proclaim Jesus
as Lord.” To bind and heal, to reach out
to the poor and needy, to the divorced
and separated, and to those “alienated
from and perhaps by the church.”
He talked about uniting us with the
early Christian community and the heroic
missionaries who in 1565 placed a cross
in the sand in St. Augustine. On the day
of his installation, he reached out to our
sister Christian churches, the Jewish
community and other faith congregations.
Twenty-two years have gone by since
that day of hope and Bishop John has put
those thoughts and words into practice.
Jesus is indeed the center of this
prayerful man’s life. He has opened his
arms to the Catholic people and to the
people of northeast Florida with genuine
love and compassion.
Having worked closely with Bishop
Snyder as his vicar general during his first
10 years with us, I can truthfully say that
he never thought of himself or what people
might think, but only the good of each
individual — always respecting their
Blessed Pope John XXIII once said,
“See everything and correct a little.”
Bishop John acted in the same way
because he, like Pope John, is a gentle
and compassionate shepherd.
46 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
THANKS FOR YOUR 22 YEARS
OF PASTORAL SERVICE TO THE
CHURCH AT ST. AUGUSTINE
Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish
Ponte Vedra Beach
Msgr. Daniel B. Logan, Pastor
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 47
Bishop Robert N. Lynch
and the Diocese of St. Petersburg
ask God’s Blessing upon Bishop John J. Snyder
who for the past 22 years has led the
“Mother” Diocese of St. Augustine with his
pastoral wisdom, vision and love.
AD MULTOS ANNOS!
48 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
I came to realize that the answer
to WWBD and WWJD was
usually the same.
Former volunteer driver for
Bishop John J. Snyder
I had the honor of meeting
Bishop Snyder at the
Jacksonville Airport upon his
arrival to his new home. I
escorted him to his new residence
on Treasury Street in St. Augustine.
I offered my services to him
which he graciously accepted
and I have been blessed to
accompany him on many of
Celebrating Tom Meehan’s birthday with his wife, Muriel, and the grandchildren in St. Augustine.
his road trips to various parishes
of our diocese.
Right from the beginning, I saw Bishop “Would you baptize my baby?” My pleasure. When he was appointed our bishop, he
Snyder as a regular parish priest, always It was always a joy to be in his company. was co-pastor of St. Augustine Parish in
interested in everyone’s needs and never If he wasn’t traveling on a given Sunday, Brooklyn where I graduated from school.
in a hurry to be on his way. I could always say good morning to our We shared a mutual friend, Bishop Francis
Children would come up to him after bishop as he was reading his morning paper Mugavero, and we would often compare
confirmation and ask to have their picture and eating his cereal. Once in a while, I and share stories of our times in Brooklyn.
taken with him and the answer was always, would sing the Brooklyn National Anthem, Bishop Snyder will always be remembered
sure, and with a big smile. “Would you I’m in Love with Brooklyn to him and he as a lover of all his priests, religious and
visit my sick husband bishop?” Of course. would love it and say thanks, Tom. the people he has served and guided
through their many wonderful years.
May God Bless him and keep him in
good health as he travels into retirement.
P rayerfu to Wishes Betty Moye
John J. Snyd
RCIA Coordinator for St. Paul Parish,
B er Jacksonville Beach
M y years of ministry in the church
closely parallel the period Bishop
Snyder has led the Diocese of Saint
Augustine. His personal witness and
leadership have been a strong influence
in both the direction of my ministry and
my desire to serve.
Two major areas of my involvement,
Evangelization and RCIA, have been greatly
affected by Bishop Snyder’s personal example.
He demonstrated our call to evangelize
by his reaching out to all.
Ecumenism was also important and
many times he set the example by joining
in dialogue with other churches, finding
ways to share commonality and better
olic our community. During his time with
Community of St. L us, through the RCIA process, we have
experienced the formation of our parishes
as vibrant welcoming communities. We
have witnessed many coming to profess our
faith, anxious to be active members of our
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 49
The Diocese of Orl
joins with our Brothers and Sisters
of the historic and neighboring Diocese of St. Augustine in
for the dedicated and zealous pastoral ministry of the
John J. Snyder, D.D
We wish him continued good health
and much happiness of heart in this new chapter of his life.
+ Norbert M. Dorsey, C.P., S.T.D.
Bishop of Orlando
50 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
churches. A memorable highlight of the 1985 to attend my first death penalty are, that they can be different. We hold
RCIA journey for St. Paul’s and other meeting. A meeting with Bishop Snyder firm to our commitment that all life is
parishes each year was the Rite of Election — took place a few days later. sacred. We take up the challenge to
the excitement of going to the Cathedral to The bishop planted the mustard seed discern together a preferred future and
meet Bishop Snyder and, more importantly, when he said, “Prison ministry can attempt to re-vision systems and policies which
the welcome the candidates received. The to heal those who are ministered to and promote destruction to human life.
bishop’s custom of receiving every family those who society has imprisoned. They Bishop Snyder, I give thanks to you
in the courtyard demonstrated so well that need to be shown how to build their lives that the diocese supports the Ministry
each new member was important to him. to be able to function upon release.” for Justice and Reconciliation. May the
On a personal level, Bishop Snyder has These past 16 and a half years, Bishop Ministry for Justice and Reconciliation
always shown his appreciation and support Snyder has affirmed the stand in our mission always be characterized by compassion,
no matter how small the task. I appreciate statement — a vision statement that gives love, and forgiveness.
the support given by the diocese. As a focus to our tasks as keepers and servants.
parish leader, my role was enhanced by Bart O’Leary
the many formational opportunities offered We are about service,
to those in ministry. It has been a most advocacy, and education President, Council of Jacksonville
rewarding time to serve our church. Society of St. Vincent de Paul
We are about reconciliation,
Sister Dorothea Murphy, RSM restoration, and abolition
We are about community
M embers of the Society of St.
Vincent de Paul who work
continuously with the poor often seek
the help and assistance of their fellow
Vincentians to support them in their daily
internship at Under the auspices of Bishop Snyder, work. Bishop John J. Snyder, as the episcopal
the Women’s we are part of an alternative community advisor of our diocesan Vincentians, has
Prison in of ministers who desire to be intentional unceasingly provided that assistance, advice,
Framingham, in breaking open a selective perception of and support to our society members. At
Massachusetts, reality. We believe in the ministerial calling our Annual Day of Reflection, his celebration
I arrived in that God asks of each of us, to share hope… of the liturgy for Vincentian intentions
Gainesville Sept. 8, the belief that things need not be as they brings us to the foundation of our spiritual
“Well done, my good and faithful servant....”
We wish you a happy retirement,
job well done!
Bishop John Ricard,
And the faithful of the
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 51
love through sharing Christ’s presence Brooklyn, N.Y. As a young priest back in Rabbi Gary Perras
among us. At this special time, and Brooklyn, he and Father Eddie Gray, who
throughout the year, Bishop Snyder has is now Vice Provincial of the southeast Formerly of Beth Shalom Congregation
provided the motivation for us to realize region of Redemptorists, knew each other in Jacksonville and now serving Temple
the heights of Vincentian charism. In his well. Bishop Snyder was ordained as a Israel in Daytona Beach
eloquent, but common sense, words he Bishop in Brooklyn at the Redemptorist
enjoins the Vincentians to share God’s
love through a fervent concern for Christ’s
poor and to perform those actions that
Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
He has always been supportive of the
Redemptorist charism and encouraged
I ’m sure everyone says this, Bishop
Snyder is a Godly man — which
means two things. First, we think of a
draw us closer to God as we see Christ them as they ministered in the Saint person who acts in a God-like way. He is
in the face of those that we serve. Bishop Augustine Diocese. The same year Bishop charitable, concerned, kindly, and caring
Snyder also has never failed to make us Snyder came to the diocese, Father Walter and giving. The second is in a way that’s
more fully aware, through words and Bueche, CSSR, came from Brooklyn to truly extraordinary. When he walks into a
example, of the need to address the daily serve at Holy Rosary Parish. Bishop Snyder room, the Holy Spirit walks with him. I
issues of our community and society and has continued to work with all the different have yet to meet a clergyman who says I
to ensure that the needs and concerns of Redemptorist priests assigned to Holy don’t know what you’re talking about.
the poor are addressed. Rosary Parish. One situation that I recall is a photo of
The members of the Society of St. Vincent This year the Bishop was invited to Bishop Snyder in the newspaper. He was
de Paul are deeply indebted to Bishop Snyder address the Convocation of Redemptorist talking to a young boy in crutches and
for his unceasing support of the Society priests and brothers at New Smyrna kneeling down beside the boy. When I saw
and for his uncompromising example of Beach. that, I thought what a beautiful image of
concern and love for the most beloved of It has been a pleasure for the what a servant of God is all about. A servant
God’s children — the poor among us. Redemptorists to work with Bishop comes down to the level of the people.
Thanks to our Vincentian Advisor. Snyder throughout his years of service I’ve also noted that Bishop Snyder is
in the Diocese of Saint Augustine. religious-blind, color-blind, gender-blind.
He’s the bishop of the battered and The only thing he sees is the human being.
Father Glenn Parker, CSSR the shepherd of the shattered. Those Bishop Snyder has been wonderful to
who have been battered by life and those the Jewish community. He has gone out
B ishop Snyder’s relationship with
the Redemptorists began back in
whose lives have been shattered. He puts
them back together with his humble way.
of his way to participate and support joint
programs, provide speakers for programs
Jax Navy Federal Credit Union
Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D.
on his retirement and 22 years of service to
the people of Diocese of Saint Augustine.
Jax Navy is the largest financial institution headquartered in Northeast Florida offering
a lifetime of financial services and valuable benefits designed to save you money.
There are hundreds of ways to join. You may already be eligible!
777-6000 option 3 or 800-445-6289 option 3 • www.jaxnavy.org
Federally insured by NCUA.
52 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
in the Jewish community and to promote
respect between our two faiths.
On a personal note, it was through Bishop
Snyder that I was able to meet the pope. For
me that was especially important because,
I think, in the history of the church, Pope
John Paul II has done more to promote
respect for the Jewish people, to condemn
antisemitism and to try to work for peace
in terms of Catholic-Jewish relationships.
H ave you
it must be like to
be a bishop? Over
the years, I have Robert Shircliff at the Jacksonville University campus.
thought about my
often. From a
business perspective, it is easy to recognize was on the Respect Life Pilgrimage to Robert Shircliff
the problems endemic when managing Tallahassee in March
people, property, planning and finances. of 1983. He seemed larger than life to this Co-Chair of “The Opportunity
That alone would be difficult enough for “cradle Catholic” who had never taken a of a Lifetime” campaign
most of us, but when you are Bishop those bus trip with a bishop before.
responsibilities pale in comparison to the
obligation of providing for the spiritual well-
being of all the souls entrusted to you.
As I recall none of the other Florida
bishops took a bus trip with the pilgrims.
I remember that he sat in the first seat
D ecember 5, 1979 to August 21,
2001. Calendar-wise that’s a pretty
good stretch — more than 21 years. Only
In one respect, our church is similar to directly behind the bus driver and prayed two other bishops have served the Diocese
society — in that we find a diversity of the rosary with us. of Saint Augustine longer. It has been a
interests, factions, prejudices, and opinions I was soon to find out this was only one wonderful time for our church and for the
that must be reconciled to the faith God way in which he made himself accessible Catholic community in Northeast Florida.
has given us through the Holy Mother to the people of the diocese. Anyone who Business people like to look at the facts.
Church. It is in the fulfillment of this has witnessed his patience as he stands for In Bishop Snyder’s case, they speak to many
great responsibility that Bishop Snyder picture-taking after any gathering will accomplishments. The number of Catholics
has been such an inspiration to me. know what I mean. has grown from 70,000 to more than
Time and time again I have seen My first “job” at the Catholic Center was 143,000. The RCIA program, since its
him reach out to those most in need as a volunteer in the Respect Life Ministry. inception in 1988, has welcomed more
of reconciliation, inclusion, and support, Over the years I came to appreciate his than 7,500 adult converts to our faith,
always applying his own tried and true particular gift of putting you at ease and and the best part is that the number grows
test of asking “What, Would Jesus Do?” comfortable in his presence. every year.
Thank you, Bishop Snyder. His support and encouragement of During recent years, the Catholic school
the Respect Life Ministry is evident system has grown tremendously — 10 new
Bonnie Seaver in the programs he inaugurated and elementary schools in the past decade and
promoted: Project Rachel and the ongoing now the planning and building of two new
Director of Respect Life training for priests; the annual Pilgrimage high schools. Nearly every parish has a new
for Life; the annual poster essay contest; or renovated church. To serve everyone the
Snyder means to
chastity programs for school children,
and personal involvement in letter writing
campaigns in support of diocesan efforts
new diocesan Catholic Center was built in
1982 and the new priest retirement home,
Casa San Pedro, was completed this spring.
this ministry and such as the national Project Life The bishop has overseen more than $100
to me personally Campaign. million in capital improvements in just
requires a walk As bishop, his approach has been to the past decade.
down “memory encourage and support those in leadership The diocese has changed in many
lane”. roles and to respect them “as a valued wonderful ways. Bishop Snyder has
My first meeting coworker in this portion of the Lord’s been our spiritual leader — a true pastor
with Bishop Snyder vineyard.” I will miss him.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 53
and shepherd. The bishop instituted a
stewardship and sacrificial giving program
The Diocese of Rockford that focuses on an important but often
offers prayerful best wishes to neglected part of our faith. The Catholic
Foundation was established and will serve
Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D. many of the ministries of the church in
on his retirement as perpetuity. Diocesan financial reports are
now published annually.
Bishop of St. Augustine. Twenty-two years ago, there were very few
seminarians from our diocese. Today there are
26 seminarians. That says a lot about our
Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D. Bishop Snyder and the priests of our diocese.
Bishop of Rockford Ecumenism is a word not often used
years ago. However, with Bishop Snyder’s
leadership our church today stands tall
in the community. He has received the
accolades of many in our city and is a
recipient of the Humanitarian Award from
Bishop John J. Snyder the National Conference of Christian and
Jews. He has never refused to dialog with
It is with gratitude, affection and prayers, anyone. He would never discriminate.
He has the trust of all who know him.
that we wish you health and happiness I firmly believe that Bishop Snyder loves
in your retirement years. all people. He sees the face of Christ in all
and especially in troubled faces. I am sure
he knows more people by their first names
Priests, Religious and The People of God than anyone I’ve ever known. To him
Holy Rosary Parish, Jacksonville everyone is equally important.
During the months of the “Opportunity
of a Lifetime” campaign, I met many
wonderful people in our diocese. More
than 11,000 families contributed to the
campaign because they believe in Catholic
education, they want to support our diocesan
projects and because, as they said so often,
“we love and appreciate our bishop.”
Many of us do.
It has been a wonderful 21 years.
We have been blessed.
Ella M. Simmons
Director, Black and Indian Ministries
been a kind,
all people of
all cultures, all
races and all
faiths in the
Diocese of Saint Augustine and wherever
he is at the moment.
He is also a Bishop of globalization,
universality and culturalism with a broad
and deep understanding of cultural diversity.
54 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
To Black and Indian Catholics in the
Diocese of Saint Augustine, he has been
the Way “to help make a way out of no
way” the How to “we do not know how”.
He is the epitome of a true Shepherd who
never lets you forget that you are a child
of God, made in his image.
In 1986, Bishop Synder established a
team of Catholics to address concerns of
all persons of African ancestry. The actual
ministry office was established in 1987. In
1988 Bishop Synder was instrumental in
establishing the Florida Conference of
Offices of Black Catholics, which includes
all seven diocesan Black Catholic offices.
In 1989, Bishop Snyder was instrumental
in establishing the second Diocesan Native
American Ministry in America. In 1990,
the first Diocesan Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Circle in the Southeast was established to (l-r) Father Cletus Watson, TOR, Bishop Snyder and George Murry, S.J., Bishop of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
reach out to Catholic and non-Catholic
In his globalization vision of love for has enabled their student populations to To myself, the Director, he has been
all people, I was able to, with his blessing, grow and expand into a viable tool of the epitome of support, a father who
reach out to HIV/AIDS infected Africans, evangelization. cares, a leader who understands, a friend
with a missionary pilot project to teach Under his stewardship the Black, African, who listens, a tower of wisdom, a beam
prevention and intervention strategies in African American, Caribbean and Native through dark times, and a smile at all
South Africa. American ministries has grown and expanded times. All these things, through God he
Bishop Snyder’s commitment to St. Pius, to allow outreach to all persons of African is, have been and always will be —
and Holy Rosary Black Catholic Schools and Native American ancestry. “SPECIAL”.
The proof, however, of the love of God
Glorify is the exercise of charity toward our
neighbor; hence, in the true disciple of Christ,
charity toward his neighbor must shine forth;
L every word should be weighed, should be
useful and honest. In order that charity
may abound in deeds, it must first
with me abound in the heart.
Rule of the Third Order Regular
of Saint Francis of Assisi
Our most sincere gratitude and thankfulness to our former Bishop,
John J. Snyder, D.D., for his Apostolic-Spiritual leadership
in our beloved Diocese of St. Augustine
A warm and heartful welcome to our new Bishop,
the Most Rev. Victor Galeone, S.T.L.,
as he leads us always closer to
Jesus Christ, Our Savior & Lord!
Church of the Crucifixion
3183 W. Edgewood Ave.
From all of us — Crucifixion Faith Community Jacksonville, FL 32209-1800
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 55
The Priests, Religious, Staff and
all the Faithful extend their
Prayers & Thanks to
for 22 years of leadership in the
Diocese of Saint Augustine
St. Michael’s Church
Fernandina Beach, Florida
St. Anastasia Catholic Church
St. Augustine, Florida
prays that God will bless our former Bishop
John J. Snyder, D.D.
in his retirement.
Thank you for your many years of
56 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
Sidney S. Simons, II Reflection by Leonard Spillane his time and the interest he shows in people.
I often reflect on the many times he came
Chair-elect of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Former Director of Catholic Charities to Gainesville for the “Bishop’s Dinner,”
National Advisory Council and member Gainesville Bureau which became an annual fundraising event
of St. Paul Parish, Jacksonville for Catholic Charities.
T he Decree
J ohn Henry Cardinal Newman was a
well-known English convert to Roman
Catholicism. He wrote an apt description
He always reached out to the Hispanic
community by addressing them in their
native language. After a long evening,
Second Vatican of a gentleman in his treatise on University and faced with the tiring drive back to
Council concerning Education for Roman Catholics over 100 St. Augustine, he always made himself
bishops states that years ago. “It is almost a definition of a available to whomever approached him
“A bishop should gentleman to say he is one who never to talk after the event.
stand in the midst inflicts pain. The true gentleman in like “He has his eyes on all his company;
of his people. Let manner carefully avoids whatever may he is tender towards the bashful, gentle
him be a good cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those towards the distant and merciful towards
shepherd who with whom he is cast…his great concern the absurd.”
knows his sheep being to make everyone at their ease and Bishop Snyder is a people’s bishop,
and whose sheep know him … he should at home.” always extending himself to individuals
manifest his concern for all, no matter As I think about what Newman wrote in pain and in need to attempt to console
their age or condition.” By that standard, to describe a gentleman, I find it to be and bring peace of mind.
Bishop Snyder has been an extraordinarily applicable to John Snyder, the eighth An example of this caring spirit was
faithful and successful leader of our diocese. Bishop of Saint Augustine. the support and interest he showed towards
Bishop Snyder’s gift to us has been, in I recall a day in April 1984, when I the poor and disadvantaged, towards the
the deepest sense, himself — fully involved was ushered into Bishop Snyder’s office people touched by the Healing and Growth
in our lives as personally and completely and he welcomed me as the new director Program which helps individuals who
as any good friend. As St. Paul instructed, of Catholic Charities of the Gainesville experience the loss of a partner through
he has rejoiced with those of us rejoicing Office. He was kind, warm, and gracious divorce, separation, or death.
and wept with those of us weeping, living to me then and continued to be so Bishop Snyder is indeed a Christian
in harmony with everyone. throughout my 15 years of ministry. gentleman who carries in his heart the love
After the Rite of Election at the Cathedral “He makes light of favors while he of Christ for his fellow human beings by
a few months ago, a deaf catechumen does them and seems to be receiving accepting those in need and bringing peace
stood in line with her family to meet the when he is conferring.” and harmony to his flock.
bishop. When she came face to face with Above all he has been a shepherd to this He truly lives by his episcopal motto,
him and indicated her lack of hearing, flock. He loves people, and is generous with “Peace in Christ.”
Bishop Snyder enthusiastically expressed
his love for her — in sign language. To see
her face! She experienced for the first time
what many of us have for the 22 years that
John Snyder has been our bishop, the
transforming power of his kindness. There
are as many similar stories as there have
been personal encounters with the Bishop.
A recently issued document from the
Vatican reminds bishops that they are
“to take every occasion to stir in people’s
consciousness the desire to live together in
peace and to promote a shared determination
to dedicate themselves to the cause of
justice.” “Every occasion” aptly describes
the frequency with which Bishop Snyder
has spoken of the implications of the Gospel
on life and society. His commitment to
charity has resulted in every diocesan
program and activity reflecting in some way
his concern for the less fortunate among us.
Each year at the Rite of Election,
Bishop Snyder preached the unity of our
parishes with the diocese and the diocese
with the universal church. Greater than
that preaching has been his willingness to
“stand in our midst” and witness to the Bishop Snyder always enjoys talking and being with the young people of our diocese.
unity of us all.
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 57
(now Young Adult Ministry Advisory
Board), to presiding at the annual Bishop’s
Singles Mass, Bishop Snyder has always
given of his time to help young adults feel
at home in the church and allow them to
have a full experience of God’s love. His
incredible ability to remember people, their
names and many things about them, makes
people, particularly young adults, feel at
home in the church.
The importance of Bishop Snyder’s
presence to young adults is best described
from his presence at one of the Alpha retreat
weekends. A young woman was giving a
witness talk on the retreat and she was
Bishop Snyder at an annual Seminarians Retreat at Marywood Retreat Center on the St. John’s River. nervous about it. She had prepared well
and was ready. But as with most witness
talks, she was focusing on how God’s love
Father John Tetlow Having weathered this crisis, Bishop Snyder and mercy touched her life in a special way.
replied that he thought I’d be a better The context of her experiencing God’s mercy
Director of Vocations Vocation director, but urged me to take grew out of period of time of which she
my time and get some rest. was ashamed. She was making herself
always been and
Our conversation that day gave me
incredible solace in the midst of deep sorrow.
The bishop never ceased to be there for
vulnerable so others could see the miracle
of God’s love in her life. Bishop Snyder
was present for her presentation. The
will continue to be my family and me. To this day, his words young woman was glad to have Bishop
an inspiration for continue to ring in my ear. Snyder there, but of course, that made
me. As I look back her more nervous.
on my 17 years as Ed Trent Bishop Snyder sat outside of the circle
a priest, I have and behind her while she was giving her
known Bishop Program Director, Young Adult Ministry talk. She was to be the focus of everyone’s
Snyder to be a and President, Diocesan Pastoral Council attention. From my perspective, he was
man who truly watching over her with a loving and proud
pastured the people of the diocese. His
care and concern for the spiritual needs
of the people extended to all ministries.
been a wonderful
glance, as I am sure Christ himself was
that day. At the end, he gave her a hug
and told her what a wonderful job she had
When I was called to be the director of example of the done. Bishop Snyder touched not only
Vocations for the diocese in 1994, Bishop Good Shepherd. her, but everyone present that day by
Snyder assured me that vocations were a He has been a confirming God’s gentleness and mercy.
priority for him, and his active participation spiritual advisor, By his actions, words, and willingness to
in this program continues. His interest and mentor, and friend take time to just be with people, Bishop
concern for every seminarian, and their to me for eight Snyder has helped me and countless other
families, along with being part of gatherings years. He has young adults experience Christ as never
and retreats for them, has played a large always had time to before. He has helped us all become
part in the success of the program. talk about all kinds of issues, both personal comfortable with our God who loves us so
Most noteworthy for me, however, is and those concerning young adults. I think very much. In doing so, He has helped
Bishop Snyder’s gift of compassion. Six it is his ability to listen and then patiently make the church home for so many.
years ago my brother was involved in a and lovingly a guide person to be still and
serious life-changing accident, which left listen to what God is calling them to be in Steve T. Turner
him a quadriplegic. As one might imagine, their lives that is most impressive. From our
our whole family was devastated. Our conversations, he has helped me to better Lay Director of Cursillo
family is very close and all of our lives were understand and cherish God’s presence in
greatly affected. There is a grief process
that follows such an accident that lasts for
my life. In his gentle way, he has helped
me develop a greater and deeper relationship M y first
of meeting Bishop
a long time, but through our faith and the with Christ, the Good Shepherd.
support of many, and the incredible courage Bishop Snyder’s support of young adult Snyder was in
of my brother and his wife, we adapted well. ministry in our diocese has helped the 1981 when the
It was during the first few months after spirituality of countless numbers of young diocesan offices
the accident that I approached the bishop adults. From his support of the Alpha were located at
one day and assured him that I truly believed retreats, other young adult initiatives, the former Gulf
I could still handle the vocation ministry. and the Young Adult Ministry Task Force Life Building
in downtown Jacksonville.
58 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
I was 25 years old and I was seeking ensuing years, he has encouraged me, as to our issues and has always challenged
information about how to become a well as others, to seek that same vision — us to higher degrees of discernment and
permanent deacon. to be a true servant to my brothers and understanding. He accompanied us in our
My age made me fearless (dumb) to sisters in Christ. celebrations, processes, and Encuentros
protocol and I made an appointment directly and his openness and patience has always
with Bishop Snyder; and he, himself as Pablo Valdivieso inspired me.
the Irish would say, agreed to see me. As a Cursillista, he walked next to me.
I remember seeing this little bitty guy
and thinking that he looked like Bing
Crosby. Right away, through his calm and
I have known
for 21 years and
His presence was significant enough to
encourage me as a committed Christian
to bloom where planted and take the
disarming manner, he made feel welcome there are many Gospel to all areas of my life.
and at ease. He didn’t sit behind his desk things I have For his care for the different community
with me on the other side, but instead he learned from him. of immigrants, for his openness and
sat in a chair directly across from me as As a Cuban, as a solidarity with those facing difficulties, for
one adult to another. Hispanic, and as a his leadership and commitment to the
He could have easily said, “You are ten Cursillista, I have Gospel, Bishop Snyder by his example has
years too young to even consider this. felt his presence in enlightened my faith and has inspired me
Come back and we’ll talk.” But, he didn’t my journey of faith. to follow his path.
send me away. Instead he took the time And his example has impacted my life.
and effort to educate and inform me so As a Cuban, he has demonstrated that
that I could see the larger picture of what
church can be.
he cares for my community. At the annual
celebration of Our Lady of Charity,
Our thanks to all
Bishop Snyder explained that we
are empowered by the Holy Spirit, as
patroness of Cuba, he has always been
present, showing his desire to accompany
those who contributed
experienced in our baptism. That through
baptism, all Catholics are called to serve
my exiled community that is unable to
return to our beloved land.
their reflections on
one another through various ministries
available in our parishes and diocese.
As a Hispanic, I felt his understanding
and care. In 1983, he opened an office to
From that first meeting and through the attend to our needs. He has since listened
BISHOP JOHN J. SNYDER
We thank you for supporting Catholic education
with great dedication and devotion.
In love and gratitude,
The Administration, Faculty, Staff and Students of
St. Joseph Academy
ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • KEEPSAKE EDITION 59
S PECIAL T HANKS
The Santa Maria del Mar Parish Community
gives thanks and asks God’s blessing In gracious appreciation for
for a happy, healthy retirment for the generous support provided
Bishop John J. Sndyer by the following individuals,
ministries and institutions
which helped make possible
Father John Tetlow
this commemorative issue of the
St. Augustine Catholic:
Allied Graphics Inc.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield
of Florida, Inc.
Irish Holy Ghost Fathers
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
To Bishop John J. Snyder
With much gratitude for Queen of Peace Catholic
Community in Gainesville
22 years of dedicated service
Religious of the Cenacle
to the Lord in the in Gainesville
Diocese of St. Augustine
St. Madeleine Catholic Church
in High Springs
Sacred Heart Church
in Green Cove Springs
From the priests
and faithful of — With Prayers —
Immaculate Holy Family Parish
Conception Church in Jacksonville
S PECIAL T HANKS
60 ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC • SEPTEMBER 2001
St. Vincent’s extends heartfelt
Bishop John J. Snyder
for his many years
of dedicated service.
I glorified thee on the earth, having
accomplished the work which
Thou hast given Me to do.
St. Vincent’s Health System includes St. Vincent’s Medical Center, St. Catherine
Labouré Manor, St. Vincent’s Primary Care, Consolidated Laboratory Services,
Advanced Patient Transportation and Seton Pharmacies.
Helping Paula Jennings
live her American Dream
Before she had a third grade class, she had her own little “homeroom” of two girls and a boy. And
somehow she’s managed to treat them all with the same love and care.
For over 50 years, we’ve put our retirement and pension products to work to help make sure the American
Dream has been safe and secure for the men and women who work so hard to make all our lives better.
And the families they come home to.
But we’ re not about to stop now. We’ve done our homework and with our Tax Deferred Annuity,
Paula’s contributions – among her choice of interest or investment options – accumulate tax
deferred until withdrawn. For more information call us at 1-800-468-3785 or visit our web site at
RETIREMENT PLANS People like Paula teach us lessons about hard work every day. Which is why it’s so important that our
LIFE INSURANCE programs score high marks.
the spirit of America
320 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6839 1 800 468 3785 www.mutualofamerica.com Mutual of America Life Insurance Company is a Registered Broker/Dealer
*For complete information on our variable accumulation annuity products, including all charges and expenses, please refer to the applicable prospectuses which can be
obtained by calling 1-800-468-3785 and should be read carefully before investing. Funds withdrawn prior to age 591/2 may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.