By James Melchiorre
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, May 22
Trinity Wall Street’s rector, the Rev. Dr. James Cooper, preached Tuesday at the consecration of the newest bishop in the Episcopal Church.
The Rt. Rev. Oge Beauvoir became Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti in a four-hour long service led by the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Preaching under a roof of corrugated aluminum in the ruins of the Episcopal Cathedral destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake, Cooper encouraged the almost one-thousand people on hand to see this as a day of "high hopes that things that have been cast down will be raised up."
Cooper described the basis of the Christian life, as seen in the example of Jesus, as inspiration, formation, and action, and directly praised the new bishop as modeling all three, especially the third.
"You have not just talked the talk of the Gospel," Cooper told Bishop Beauvoir.
"You have walked the walk of the Gospel. You have made things happen."
Bishop Beauvoir is a former staff member of Trinity Wall Street where he was a Program Associate in Trinity Grants from 1999 until 2004. Cooper drew humorously on those close relationships, recalling a visit to Haiti soon after the earthquake.
"When I'm with you, driving around, you're taking calls from one of your two cell phones," Cooper said.
"The call today is not on your cell phone. It's from the Episcopal Church and from the one God and Father of us all."
Later in his sermon Cooper invited Bishop Beauvoir to stand, then asked the bishop’s wife Serette, the clergy gathered around the altar, and finally the congregation to also rise, a symbol that the new bishop “will not stand alone.”
Concluding his sermon minutes before the official consecration of Bishop Beauvoir, Cooper offered encouragement to Haiti’s Episcopalians, who comprise the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church, as they work to recover from the 2010 catastrophe.
“All things that have been brought down will be raised up,” Cooper predicted.
“This cathedral will be raised up, this diocese will be raised up, this people will be raised up."
Bishop Beauvoir has served as Dean of the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Port-au-Prince since 2005. He’ll be installed as Bishop Suffragan in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city, on Pentecost Sunday May 27.