1992 Feb 9 – 5th Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Bishop Dingman at the line at SAC Aug. 6, 1985
BISHOP MAURICE DINGMAN: A GOOD MAN; A GREAT BISHOP; A DEAR FRIEND…
Last Wednesday we buried Bishop Maurice Dingman. We could hardly mourn his death since daily, for nearly six years, he suffered the debilitating effects of a terrible stroke. Now his pain-raked body and dauntless spirit know the eternal rest he so richly deserves.
I drove to Des Moines Tuesday afternoon and went straight to where he laid in state at the Cathedral. The little, worn-out body placed in a simple wooden coffin was a far cry from the active, robust man I knew, and loved, for over twenty years. I was told that from Sunday on, a continual, steady stream of people had been coming to the Cathedral to pay their last respects to the Bishop. At the services on Sunday and Monday night, the Cathedral was full. It was no different Tuesday night when it was again filled with those who came to pray for, and to pay their respects to, the man who meant so much to so many.
Msgr. Jerry Stessman lead the Wednesday night service. At the homily time he invited people to come and share their personal stories about the Bishop. It was a very moving experience. Each person who spoke shared, in their own way, how the Bishop touched their lives.
As each one spoke, a flood of memories came to my mind of the times I shared with the Bishop. I could not hold back my tears. For a few brief moments, the “era” of Bishop Dingman was reassembled at the Cathedral. My heart broke. I don’t mourn his passing. His death was a needed gift. I do miss his spirit and what his leadership meant to the Diocese of Des Moines and the for the larger Church. I will also miss his dear friendship and loving concern for me and my work for peace and justice.
Next to my father, Bishop Dingman was the most important man in my life. His influence will continue to guide me throughout it. Fr. Bob Hoefler and I were the last two men ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Dingman. I will be eternally grateful for the confidence he bestowed on me in my Ordination. Few, if any, Bishops would have taken the risk. I pray I live up to the confidence Bishop Dingman had in me.
No doubt, in the months and years ahead, I will be challenged many times in my efforts to remain faithful to the Gospel and to the priesthood I have been given. And I have no doubt at all in my heart that along side my father George, Bishop Dingman will be my strongest advocate and continued guardian in heaven. I’m also sure they will be needed.
No doubt, in the months and years ahead, I will be challenged many times in my efforts to remain faithful to the Gospel and to the priesthood I have been given. And I have no doubt at all in my heart that along side my father George, Bishop Dingman will be my strongest advocate and continued guardian in heaven. I’m also sure they will be needed..