We are staying at the Pontifical International Missionary College of Saint Paul the Apostle for the seminary for new bishops. The picture above shows the chapel where we gather to pray during the day. The great mosaic on the front wall shows a scene from the Acts of the Apostles - where the Apostle Paul is preaching to the pagan Greeks. Acts says that Paul admired the religiosity of the Greeks who even had a shrine to "The Unknown God" - but then he proceeds to preach to them about the One, True God who has made Himself known through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The upper portion of the mosaic shows the glory of the Resurrected Christ. It is a beautiful image for meditation for missionary bishops who also preach the resurrection of Jesus to those who have never heard His Name or do not know Him as they should.
Yesterday, in our presentations, we had a good refresher about the Social Teachings of the Church; the Pontifical Mission Societies which support the work of missionary churches throughout the world; finally a wonderful exposition of the Spirituality of the Bishop. In this last talk Cardinal Amato spoke of the pillars of the Spirituality of th Bishop.
Today, we heard presentation on the very important role of the laity in the mission of the church, and then one on the important diocesan structures, e.g. 1) Presbyteral Council (in Mendi, we call it the Priests' Senate), 2) The College of Consultors; and finally, 3) the (diocesan) Pastoral Council.
Tomorrow, Friday, we are going to Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Holy Father, for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. This will be the highlight of our trip as we meet with the Successor of the Apostle Peter and visible sign of communion in the church.
On Sunday, we will all be going on pilgrimage to Assisi. That is a special grace for all of us, but especially for Franciscans. There are three Capuchins here: Bishop Bill Fey and I... and a Capuchin bishop from Malta serving in Kenya. There are also three Observant Franciscan bishops here as well.
Please know that you are in my prayers as we go through the various stages of this holy visit to the Eternal City.