(Updated with homily.)

One hundred sixty years ago, on the eve of a Civil War whose echoes have eerily resurfaced in these days, the bond between Catholicism’s oldest diocese in these States and the mother-church of the American West was created when Baltimore and St Louis were respectively led by Dublin-born brothers named Kenrick.

Today, as the Premier See’s own Mitch Rozanski crosses the Mississippi to become the ninth successor of the younger of the siblings, the MetroLink comes full-circle. And much like Peter Richard – the founding archbishop who would hold office for 52 years (the record tenure of any US prelate) – the nation’s newest metropolitan now outranks his “older brothers,” becoming the first Baltimore priest named to an archdiocese in nearly four decades.

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