Today, the bishops attending the Seminar for New Bishops from missionary countries celebrated their closing Mass of Thanksgiving under the awe-inspiring masterpiece known as Bernini's Glory behind the main papal altar of Saint Peter's Basilica.
The principal celebrant was His Eminence Cardinal Filioni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the sponsor of the seminar. In his homily he spoke of the three major responsibilities of a bishop: to teach, to shepherd and to santify the People of God.
These two weeks have been a time of prayer, learning and fraternity among the bishops from all over the world. I will miss the new friends that I have made in this short time. I have been inspired by their prayerfulness and encouraged by their pastoral zeal. Listening to their stories I have come to see that we share many of the same challenges. Knowing of our unity in faith and prayer will be a source of strength for me as I return to the diocese of Mendi.
There are many problems in our world today. But I walk away from these two weeks in the Eternal City with a great sense of hope for the Church who continues the saving mission of Jesus in our world... a mission of announcing what we all need to hear: Good News!
Please pray for these new bishops and know that you are in my prayer as well.
(There will be more coming... so stay tuned!)