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Office of the Bishop

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A bishop is a priest who is chosen by the pope to serve the Church in union with him as a successor of the apostles. Once chosen, a special Mass is held where the priest is ordained. This is known as an episcopal ordination. During this event, the new bishop receives the fullness of the priesthood because he becomes a successor of the Apostles, meaning that he now has the authority to lead in a direct line to the men thereby chosen by Jesus.

When a bishop is selected to lead a diocese, he is installed as head of that diocese. He is given a pastoral staff (usually called a crozier), symbolic of his role as chief shepherd of the diocese, and an episcopal ring, symbolizing his unique bond with the diocese he serves. He also chooses an episcopal motto that reflects his spirituality and convictions. When a priest is chosen to become a bishop and given care of a diocese as well, the episcopal ordination and installation usually happen during the same Mass.

Listen to Bishop Taylor's homilies in the Audio Library.

Bishop Anthony Basil Taylor was ordained and installed as the seventh bishop for the Diocese of Little Rock on June 5, 2008 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. He wore the episcopal ring of the diocese's first bishop, Andrew J. Byrne and carried the crozier of the fourth bishop, Albert L. Fletcher.

For everyday use he wears a ring that once belonged to his grandfather, Basil C. Taylor, who was a faithful Catholic his entire life and he uses various other croziers which belong to him personally when celebrating Mass outside the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock.

His episcopal motto is "The Humble Shall Inherit the Earth." It is taken from Psalm 37:11 and is quoted by Jesus in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:5. Bishop Taylor explained that the humble in his motto should be understood in the sense of the underlying Hebrew word Anawim. In English, humble and meek describe a person's attitude, but the Hebrew refers also to humble circumstances, being marginalized by external factors of poverty and bigotry.

Through the Office of the Bishop, Bishop Taylor shepherds the people of the diocese with the assistance of his priests who lead the parishes and ministries under the bishop's guidance and leadership. Together they work to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ with the goal of leading all people to eternal life in heaven.

For more information, see Bishop Taylor reflects on five years in Arkansas