The Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe, Bishop Provisional of Bethlehem, writes in honor of the Rt. Rev. J. Mark Dyer, seventh bishop of the diocese.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
I write to you with the sad news of the death of the Rt. Rev. J. Mark Dyer, Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem. As many of you know, Bishop Mark battled multiple myeloma for a number of years.
Bishop Mark’s death represents a significant loss to our diocese and to the Church. Whether as an advisor to several archbishops of Canterbury, chief pastor to his diocese, mentor to countless priests and seminarians, or advocate for the poor, he represented the very essence of the servanthood that can be found at the heart of the episcopate. A master teacher, Bishop Mark drew on the joy and tragedy of the human condition, including his own, to bring to life the ministry of Jesus and the narrative of God’s work in the world in ways that made for real and lasting transformation. Those of us who had the privilege of sitting at his feet as students caught a glimpse of what it must have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Bishop Mark served each of us in different ways. For me, he was a pastor, mentor, spiritual director, exemplar, and friend. He exercised the episcopate with a particular grace and equanimity that can only be evidenced by a life centered in Jesus Christ, and one of the great privileges of my episcopate is to occupy the seat he once held with the support of his prayers and blessings.
I call upon our diocese to offer prayers of thanksgiving to God for this giant of the faith who joins the angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection,
Sean W. Rowe