On my consecration as Bishop of the Diocese of Novo Mesto, I thank Pope Francis for the confidence he has shown to me in appointing me to this office.
In harmony with his commission in the charter of appointment as bishop, I will strive to lead the faithful to mature faith and communion with Christ so that through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, they may recognize their beloved in the Lord. In the bull, the Holy Father connects Novo mesto with the new Jerusalem (Raz 21:2), which comes from heaven from God (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22). It is like a dwelling he has prepared for the elected, which does not pass away. It is a society of the saved by Christ, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and made worthy of perfect communion with God. I ask the Holy Spirit to live this new reality more deeply through him in the present situation (Rom 8,4). May the Lord fill us with His gifts and graces, faith, love, joy and hope.
I sincerely thank the retired Bishop of Novo mesto, Msgr Andrej Glavan and the co-consecrators, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Slovenia, Msgr Dr Jean-Marie Spiech for selected words and encouragement and to the Bishop of Gurk-Klagenfurt, Msgr Dr Jožef Marketz, with whom I have a special bond when working as a spiritual assistant in Sela and Bajdiše in Austrian Carinthia for seven years until this summer. I thank all the other bishops and priests. I am particularly happy for all of you who came from Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Austria, Germany and Poland. Thank you to all the religious, faithful lay people, especially the sick and suffering, for your prayers and support.
I am very grateful to my late parents, Mom Frančiška and Dad Drago, for my life. Thank you to my family, relatives, priests and educators and friends. Thank you to the schools, educational and scientific institutions at home and abroad where I was educated and spiritually shaped. I take the path I have walked and all of you who have walked with me as a blessing, a grace and a gift, and I perceive my life as a mission to serve others. I accept the episcopal ministry with the awareness of the great responsibility for the proclamation of the Gospel, for the consecration and leadership service, where the performance of the mission requires cooperation with the episcopal corps, priests and faithful laity.
In the diocese of Novo mesto, I especially greet the Greek Catholics, the Croatian Catholic community and the sister Christian Churches, including the Orthodox, the Evangelical Church of Jesus Christ and the Evangelical Christian Church as well as the Islamic community and other religious communities.
I also greet the Gottscheers and the Roma. I am glad that there are representatives of social, political, cultural and economic life among us.
In the pursuit of the common good, I seek a constructive dialogue with all so that together we can create a society of peace, justice and respect for the dignity of every human person. Therefore, I ask you for help and cooperation. I want to thank Television Slovenia, Radio Ognjišče and Exodus Television for broadcasting the episcopal consecration and to all those who helped and co-created today's ceremony in any way.
I am fully aware that the strongest bond that gives meaning to our lives and connects us is faith in Jesus Christ, from the dead risen Lord who lives among us. In the words of the letter to the Hebrews, I, therefore, invite you to "Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess, for we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God-Jesus, the Son of God. Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are but did not sin. Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it" (Heb 4: 14-16).
Thank you all and peace be with you,
Msgr Dr Andrej Saje,
Bishop of Novo mesto