Bishop Snyder.pdf

Document Sample
Bishop Snyder.pdf Powered By Docstoc
					                September 2001

Bishop Snyder
                    Wishing a long, happy and healthy retirement
                                             Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D.
                                                      from the
                            Bishop Kenny High School Community

                         With deepest gratitude for your many years of
                         support of Catholic education in our diocese

                                                                                                                     contents page

                                                                                          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.

                       You’re Invited
        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

   editor’s notes

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
                                                                        Kathleen Bagg-Morgan
                                                                                               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
                                                                                                                    Chelle Delaney
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
                                                                                                                    Evelyn Tovar
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
                                                                                                                  Patrick McKinney
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:
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           
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
                                                                                           Bishop Snyder
                                                                                                       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.

   “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
Charismatic Renewal.
   “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

                                                              Bishop Snyder
                                                for his shepherding care and extraordinary efforts on
                                                our behalf. May you enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
                                                        Your kindness shall never be forgotten!
                                                                    Most Sincerely,
                                                        Christ the King Vietnamese Community

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
     Saint Augustine.
        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

                                                  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
       the Catholic
                                                                     FOLLOW YOU ALWAYS
    Lawyers Guild ask
            For Your

                                                            St. Pius V Church and School
                                                             The Mother Church of African American
                                                                    Catholics in Jacksonville

                                                                                                         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

             BISHOP SNYDER
                  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
                   Church Supplies

       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
of God.
                                                                    ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC   • KEEPSAKE EDITION   11
              The late Catherine Reilly of Catholic Charities and women religious greet Bishop Snyder.

     Women Religious
                         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

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.
spiritual renewal.
                          — 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
     faithful servant

     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

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

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,
          Blessings and
         good wishes on                                         Bishop John J. Snyder, D.D.
         your retirement!
                                                                        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

                                                                His Legacy:

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
                                  THANK YOU BISHOP SNYDER

                                OUR PRAYERS AND BEST WISHES ARE WITH YOU
                                  AS YOU BEGIN YOUR RETIREMENT YEARS

                                                                                                             ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC    • KEEPSAKE EDITION        19
                                                                                              Bishop Snyder
                                                                           Enables the
                                                                            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

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 —

                                                   Thank You.
                                                   From Rev. Dan Cody, Pastor, and
                                                   the entire St. Joseph’s Parish Community

                                                                                                           ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC   • KEEPSAKE EDITION   21
     Shaping Leaders
        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
     confirmed me!”
       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

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.

                                                                                           Assumption Parish
                                                                                                Jacksonville, Florida
                                                                                             Extends Warmest Gratitude
                                                                                               to our retired Shepherd
                                                                                      Bishop John J. Snyder
                                                                                                 and offers assurance of
                                                                                                  continued prayers.

                                                  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

   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,’’
                                                                                             Lindenfelser said.
                                                                                                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
            Joseph         Fetter,
          Rouville          Fisher,
                                                     JOHN J. SNYDER
           Joseph          McDonnell,
          Richard Perko, Beau Porter,
           Wil Stead, Ruben Suarez,
          Peter Tomczak, Jason Trull,
       Matthew West, and Adrian Wojcik

                Bishop Snyder
           The Seminarians of the
         Diocese of Saint Augustine
             thank you for your
          leadership and support

                Vocations Office
               Father John Tetlow

                                                    We are thankful for
               Bishop                            Your 22 years of Leadership
            John J. Snyder
                                                      Our Prayers Go
             The Religious
                                                        with you
                 of the
               Diocese of
             Saint Augustine
             are filled with
              gratitude for
            your leadership,
            your friendship
             and your love.
                                                        DIOCESAN STAFF
                        ✮✭                        DIOCESE   OF   SAINT AUGUSTINE

                                              “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
late vocation.
   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
                  from                                                                                                  of
         Bishop John F. Kinney,
        Bishop George H. Speltz,                                                                           St. Catherine
                          and the people of the                                                                Parish,
                          Diocese of                                                                       Orange Park
                          Saint Cloud, MN

 T hrough the Years
                                                                                            Photo Gallery

    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.



                  Juan Snyder

           Por su ministerio,
         su amistad y su apoyo

       Southeast Regional Office
       for Hispanic Ministry, Inc.

                      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
                                                                                                                      Development Committee
                                                      Saint Augustine,                                                  Rev. Edward
                                                                                                                        Rev. Edward Rooney
                                                                                                                         Diocesan Director
                                         Rev. Anthony G. Sebra
                                                                                                                     “A hand up, not a hand out”
                                              Sacred Heart Parish,                                                           you        peace,
                                                                                                                         “If you want peace,
                                                                                                                           work for justice”
                                                  Jacksonville                                                                     Paul
                                                                                                                              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
     Cathedral rectory
                                                      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
                                                                                God’s Blessing
     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

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
          Your Retirement.


                                                                                                     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

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
        J. Snyder
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
       Printing Needs

    From brochures to direct mail...
     product catalogs to magazines.

      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
                                                          admit that
                                                    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,
                                                                                             Bishop Snyder,
                                                                                    as you continue to use
                                                                                           your many gifts
                                                                                           in the service of
                                                                                                 His Kingdom
                                                                                                during your
                                                                                        retirement years.

                                                                                   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

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
                                                          'Well done,
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
Center, Gainesville
                                                        Diocese of St. Augustine

                                                  Archbishop John C. Favalora,
                                                  Edward A.
                                                  Auxiliary Bishops
                                                  Agustín Román,
                                                  Gilberto Fernández and
  M      y first conscious memory of
         you is being greeted by name at
the open house of the Catholic Center.
                                                  Thomas Wenski,
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!

   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
        Bishop Snyder,
         for twenty-two                                                   extend prayers and gratitude to
        years of service
          to the people                                         Bishop John J. Snyder
              of the
                                                       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.
        Saint Augustine.

           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
                                                                                 of us!

                                                                                                         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!)

                                                                 There’s more...
                                                                 • 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 ________

Name_____________________________________ Phone_______________


City_____________________________ State___________Zip____________

                                                           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,
                                                                                                                  the women
                                                                                                         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.”
                                                                                   Matthew 19:14

                          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
                                                                     health, happiness
                                                                     and many years of
                                                                     continued service.
                                                                    Fathers Keith Brennan and
                                                                       Patrick Murphy, S.J.,
                                                                      Parish and School Staff
                                                                        and the Faithful of
                                                                      Blessed Trinity Parish,

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
Snyder’s vicar
                                        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
     and parishioner.
     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
                                                                                                                community events;
            Diocese of Oakland                                                                                ❖ inspiring successful fundraising by
                                                                                                                his personal giving; and
                 Bishop                                                                                       ❖ blessing us with his love, compassion
                                                                                                                and friendship.
            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.
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
       David K.
Tebo, on behalf of
the Past State
                                                “With Loving Prayers & Support”
Chairmen, and
District Deputies,
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
                                                            Holy Spirit
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

       L    istening
            to Bishop
                                                                  of a Lifetime” campaign       for him to speak of how wonderful the
                                                                                                people of the diocese are.
     Snyder’s homily
     at his installation
     as the eighth bishop
                                                      I  t has been
                                                         my honor
                                                    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
     human dignity.
        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.


          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!

I came to realize that the answer
to WWBD and WWJD was
usually the same.

Tom Meehan
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.
                           l Best
                  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
          ath                           ’
                                                                                                      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
                      eburg, Florida
                                                                                                      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

                                                       Thanking God
                          for the dedicated and zealous pastoral ministry of the

                                              Most Reverend
                                            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

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

  A     fter
the Mercy
                                                           and justice
                                                                                                 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....”
                                                                                                                    Matt. 25:21

                                                             We wish you a happy retirement,
                                                                    Bishop Snyder.
     God’s blessing
         and a
    happy retirement
          for a
     job well done!

        Bishop John Ricard,
       And the faithful of the
            Diocese of
       Pensacola Tallahassee

                                                                                                        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 •
                                                                                                                           Federally insured by NCUA.
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.

Warren Powers
Powers Foundation

  H      ave you
wondered what
it must be like to
be a bishop? Over
the years, I have                                                               Robert Shircliff at the Jacksonville University campus.
thought about my
friendship with
Bishop Snyder
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

  R    ecalling
       what Bishop
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

                                                                                     B     ishop
                                                                                   has always
                                                                                   been a kind,
                                                                                   Shepherd for
                                                                                   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.

   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
Native Americans.
   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;
                                                the ord
                                                  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
                                                  Bishop Snyder
                                     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
                                                              faithful service.

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
        of the
                                                   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

       B     ishop
             Snyder has
     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.
                                                                 B    ishop
                                                                      Snyder has
                                                              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.
   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
                                                    Bishop Snyder
                                              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
                                                                                                     Bishop Snyder.
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.

                                                                                        Dixie Construction
                                                                                          Company, 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
                                                          Jacksonville, Florida
                                                                                      S PECIAL T HANKS
   St. Vincent’s extends heartfelt
                     appreciation to
              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.
                                John 17:4

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 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.

Shared By:
zhaonedx zhaonedx http://