Friday, July 29, 2011


Well let’s finish what we started.

You might want to send a letter to your bishop. Do you want to give him a heart attack? Write him about something positive that you are grateful for in his ministry or in the diocese in general. Then keep the address handy because you will have to send him a get well card during his recovery in the hospital.

The envelope should be addressed such:

The Most Reverend
Richard G. Lennon D.D., M.Th., M.A.
Bishop of Cleveland
1404 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114

(If you can’t find all the initials for your bishop that is Okay.)

The opening salutation is tricky. Traditionally it is, “Your Excellency,” or the more formal, “Most Reverend Sir,” however, many times these days when people are made uncomfortable by such formalities the much plainer, “Dear Bishop,” is used. How do you know which one to use? My general rule of thumb has been that if I know the man I write, “Dear Bishop” unless I know otherwise that he likes formalities – and if I do not know him at all I will write, “You Excellency” and allow him to tell me that we need not be so formal if that should be the case. But that’s me.

A good close is, “Respectfully yours,” especially if you have been. If you have not it really doesn’t matter how you close.

A couple other quick notes: A priest is given the salutation, “Dear Father Soandso” though there is a more formal, “Reverend Sir” for special occasion or if you don’t know his name. A permanent deacon is known as “Deacon” as in “Dear Deacon Lastname,” or “Dear Deacon,” and not “Dear Rev. Sir” which I believe (correct me if I am wrong) is reserved for transitional deacons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Father!

I have indeed written His Excellency to thank him (twice) for my new parish (SBSM downtown) and for sending our wonderful new pastor. We have been very blessed, and I would not want to go back to the way things were for anything (as much as I loved our old parish). I thought it was the least I could do after all the crabby letters I sent him previously.

I used the salutation "Dear Bishop Lennon". Probably not the most elegant or correct way, but I didn't know any better. Hopefully he overlooked it!

Seriously, Bishop Lennon also needs our heartfelt prayers. He has been attacked by his own people here in the Diocese, and treated most disrespectfully. From what I can see, he has only done what could not be avoided. I am convinced he took no pleasure in the closures/mergers, and he is doing his best to take care of us.

God bless you from Downtown Akron