Bishop Jean-Marc Micas, an historic ordination

Published on 18 May 2022 - 09:28

The appointment of Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas on 30th March 2022 by Pope Francis falls within the year of the 110th anniversary of the title of Tarbes and Lourdes being given to the bishop and the diocese by Rome in April 1912.

Follow the ordination of Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas
Sunday 29th May at 3:00 p.m., live from the Basilica of Saint Pius X

Follow the installation of Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas live from the cathedral of Tarbes
Monday 30th May at 6:00 p.m.

A brief history

Since the second half of the 19th century, bishops from all areas have received episcopal ordination in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, but Mgr. Jean-Marc MICAS will be the first bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes to be ordained in a basilica of the Sanctuary of Lourdes.
Before him, Mgr. Prosper-Marie Billère, born in Bertren in the Hautes-Pyrénées, and bishop from 1882 to 1899, was the only bishop to be consecrated in our diocese on 30th November 1882 in the cathedral of Tarbes by Mgr. de Langalerie, archbishop of Auch. After Mgr. Laurence and Mgr. Billère, both natives of our diocese, and Mgr. Théas (born in the Pyrénées-Atltiques), Mgr. Micas is a new bishop originating from the South-West, despite being born in Montélimar during a six-month transfer for his family in the Drôme.

Why is there going to be an ordination in Lourdes?

Jean-Marc Micas was ordained a priest on 10th March 1991 for the Archdiocese of Toulouse and was curate at the parish of Saint-Gaudens from 1991 to 1995. He was then diocesan chaplain of the Eucharistic Youth Movement (MEJ) before becoming parish priest of Labège and Escalquens in the Haute-Garonne. He was a member of the diocesan vocations office in 1996, responsible for the diocesan vocations service between 1997 and 2000; and teacher at the Saint-Cyprien Regional Seminary in Toulouse between 1999 and 2010. Since 2013, Mgr. Micas has been Provincial of France of the Company of Priests of Saint-Sulpice.
This brief history is important to explain why the cathedral of Tarbes would be too small to accommodate all the bishops, priests and faithful who would like to be present during the beautiful celebration for the episcopal ordination of their teacher and minister on Sunday 29th May 2022 at 3 p.m. in the Basilica of Saint Pius X.

What will happen at the episcopal ordination of Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas?

Mgr. Guy de Kérimel, Archbishop of Toulouse, will be celebrating the ordination accompanied by several bishops, including Mgr. Nicolas Brouwet, Bishop of Nîmes and co-consecrator. He is the former bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. The future bishop first undertakes to announce the Gospel of Christ and to maintain the deposit of faith according to the tradition received from the Apostles. He then resolves to build up the body of Christ, and remain united to it within the order of bishops under the authority of the Successor of Peter, “to take care, like a devoted father, of the holy People of God”, to serve the poor with kindness and seek out lost sheep. Finally, he promises to intercede tirelessly for his people and faithfully to fulfil the office of high priest and minister.

As with any ordination, the essential rite consists of the laying on of hands in silence, followed by the prayer of consecration. In the complementary rites, the consecrating bishop anoints the top of the new bishop’s head, dedicating him fully to the service of Christ, before giving him the book of the Gospels and the pontifical insignia. These comprise the pastoral ring (symbol of his fidelity to the Church), the mitre (symbol of the splendour of the holiness embodied by the Bishop, his dignity and his authority) then the crosier (symbol of the vigilance of the pastor, anxious to guard his flock).
The new bishop is then installed on the cathedra, which is the chair from which he teaches: for Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas, this part will take place the following day at the cathedral of Tarbes.

The taking of canonical possession

The next day, Monday 30th May at 6:00 p.m., Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas will make the “first entry”, primum ingressus, during the “joyful advent”, jocundus adventus, which is the final stage of the journey that the bishop must accomplish, according to an established ritual, to take solemn possession of the Church in his city. The various constituted bodies, the regular and secular clergy, the cathedral chapter as well as, sometimes, the population are there to welcome it.
This is called the “taking of canonical possession” (in accordance with the organisation of the Catholic Church) making it possible to officially take possession of the episcopal see of the diocese of Tarbes and Lourdes.
Ad multos annos!

Let us pray to the Lord as we welcome our new bishop
God our Father,
your Son, Jesus, chose the Apostles
to sanctify your people,
to lead them and proclaim the Gospel to them.
Today you
grant to our diocesan Church
a pastor who, in our midst,
will preach the gospel of salvation,
who will ensure the continuity of our communion and encourage us in our mission.
Make us open and welcoming to
Mgr. Jean-Marc Micas,
whom the Holy Spirit has chosen as bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes.
Support and protect our new pastor.
We ask this through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Savin and Saint Bernadette.