Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Learning from the Poverello

11 September 2012

On Sunday, the Bishops attending the Seminar being sponsored by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples went on a pilgrimage to Assisi.  We had a brief tour of the Basilica of Saint Francis, a very solemn Mass in the Upper Basilica, an inspiring visit to the tomb of Saint Francis and then a festive lunch hosted most hospitably by the Conventual Friars in the grand refectory of the Sacro Convento.

I couldn't help but think that Saint Francis has much to teach those who are called to the ministry of bishop in the church.... even though he never wanted to be a priest (though tradition tells us that he was a deacon).

Francis was a man of intense prayer, he loved voluntary poverty and simplicity, he was passionately in love with the Lord whom he wanted to following in intimate closeness and he loved the Holy Father and the Church... In all these ways, Francis is a pattern for every Catholic and especially for bishops.

Back now in Rome, our program continues in full force for the rest of this week.  On Monday, Cardinal Grocholewsi spoke to us about Seminary Formation of priests and Cardinal Burke gave a wonderful presentation entitled: "The Bishop and the Administration of Justice".  Today, Cardinal Nicora addressed the group on the topic of "The Administrative and Financial Service of the Bishop" and Archbishop Mamberti of the Vatican Secretariate of State gave a presentation on the importance of relations between the Holy See and the State.

In the afternoon we had group discussions around the central topic of evangelization.

Thank you for your prayers for all the bishops.  You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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