The Rt. Rev. Dorsey W.M. McConnell, Class of 1983, was ordained and consecrated as the Eighth Bishop of Pittsburgh on Sat., Oct 20th, in a ceremony of reverence and ritual attended by our own Dean Malloy.
Bishop McConnell is the first tenured diocesan bishop to shepherd the Pittsburgh diocese since its previous bishop led a schism over theology and sexual ethics in 2008.
The theme of Bishop McConnell’s consecration was unity and bridge building, and he drew upon the City of Pittsburgh’s history to pursue this theme. In a surprise skit set amid the Great St. Patrick’s Day Flood of 1936, Bishop McConnell, a Yale-trained former actor, played the part of an early 20th century Welsh bridge builder who immigrated to Pittsburgh. Joined in the sketch by a group of diocesan youth, Bp. McConnell told the parable about the bridge builder’s heaven-inspired vision to build a splendid “bridge of the angels,” which, as the story goes, would miraculously save dozens of families from the flood and resulting fires that ravaged Pittsburgh in 1936.
Bridge-building in the City of Bridges has been a theme McConnell has sounded since his election last April and one he carried forward from his most recent post as rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and previous ministries in the diocese of Olympia and New York. McConnell will be formally seated at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh on November 9.