By Liz Sullivan
On October 11, before more than 70 in attendance, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath delivered his annual State of the Diocese report at the Catholic Professionals Breakfast at Three Flames Restaurant in San Jose.
Speaking for more than an hour, the bishop touched on a variety of topics including the welcoming of Coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantú in late September, the state of Catholic education, Diocese of San Jose seminarians, Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA), clergy sexual abuse scandal and the status of the South County High School project among others.
Bishop McGrath came to the Diocese in the fall of 1998 as coadjutor bishop, working with founding Bishop Pierre DuMaine. On November 27, 1999 upon the retirement of Bishop DuMaine, Bishop McGrath became the second bishop of San Jose.
Now Bishop McGrath has welcomed Bishop Cantú to San Jose. There is no official date for Bishop McGrath’s retirement. Once he and Bishop Cantú have determined a date that is acceptable to the Holy See, Bishop McGrath will retire.
“Bishop Cantú will make a good Bishop here,” said Bishop McGrath about his successor, who was not in attendance. “He is a perfect addition to our community. Bishop Cantú is very reflective and quiet and he’s a good listener. I think this will be an excellent transition to the future. I look forward to working with him and helping him in the years to come.”
In addition, Bishop McGrath spent several minutes addressing the clergy abuse scandal. On October 18, the Diocese released the names of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children.
“We are doing our very best in the Diocese to make sure it never happens again,” he said.
Not shying away from another sensitive topic Bishop McGrath addressed his decision to purchase and then selling of the $2.3 million the Diocese bought for his retirement.
“It was very myopic on my part with the housing crisis in Silicon valley,” he said. “I am sorry for doing it.”
As the Bishop finished answer questions after his report he turned a little more reflective and smiled.
“I have been very blessed in my life with my time spent here (San Jose) and San Francisco,” he said. “They have been really wonderful years. We’ve had some tough times, of course, that is to be expected. I am very blessed with the priests I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. They have been very supportive and active in things. Together we have accomplished a lot and I am grateful.”