The next Catholic archbishop of Portland comes with a Twitter account, a Facebook page and the relatively youthful perspective of a person born in 1960. At 52, the youngest prelate to be named an archbishop in the United States, the Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample says he’s ready for the challenge of an unchurched state.
At a press conference Tuesday, Sample, who has been bishop of Marquette, Mich., for seven years, said some people see Oregon as a tough place to be Catholic.
“I see it as fertile ground to plant the seeds of a new evangelization,” he said. The facts that Catholics account for about 14 percent of Oregonians and that almost 24 percent of the state’s population don’t identify as members of a particular church don’t discourage him.
“I want to connect those who are longing in their hearts for spirituality with the one whom I believe is an answer to that longing, Jesus Christ.”
Sample also promised to speak out on moral issues addressed by Catholic Church teaching.
“I won’t look for reasons to grandstand,” he said, “but when something has to be said, I’ll say it.” (Source)
Growing up in Portland I would say he certainly has a challenge where even the churches can be unchurched. Although my experience with “progressive” Catholicism there jaundiced my view. Although Holy Rosary in Portland is quite an amazing parish.
My advice to the good bishop is to start watching episodes of Portlandia to prepare himself. I only say this half-jokingly.