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Bishop Blair presides over final Toledo mass

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Bishop Blair (Source: Diocese of Toledo) Bishop Blair (Source: Diocese of Toledo)
(Toledo News Now) -

Catholics in northwest Ohio said goodbye to their leader of 10 years Wednesday night. It was an emotional sendoff for Bishop Leonard Blair as he presided over his final mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Blair has been appointed to be the Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut. On Wednesday, his final Ohio mass was filled with thanksgiving, songs, prayers and well wishes.

"Well it's kind of bittersweet, because 10 years ago today we were in this cathedral welcoming him," said Monsignor William Kubacki, of the Diocese of Toledo. "He was actually installed 10 years ago, December 4, as the bishop of Toledo. And yes, it is a sad day."

But Kubacki says it is also a day to celebrate the bishop's accomplishments.

"Having tried to do my best, I give thanks to God for his tender mercies, and I give thanks to God for all of you," Bishop Blair said from the pulpit.

Bishop Blair will be installed in Hartford on Dec. 16, and within eight days, the College of Consulters must elect a diocesan administrator to run the Toledo diocese. Eventually, Pope Francis will appoint a new bishop.

"Things are in pretty good shape here, so I am confident that we will hopefully have a new bishop within a year," Kubacki said.

The diocese presented Bishop Blair with a set of new vestments to wear as archbishop. He says he's looking forward to it, but also looking back.

"I must say I am not very good at saying goodbye, and it has been very emotional for me in many ways," Blair said. "Ten years is a big chunk of a person's life, and I will miss Toledo, miss the diocese very much."

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