The first day of the ad limina visit began this morning with a Mass celebrated by all the bishops from New England in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. On this feast day of Saint Charles Borromeo who was a bishop who helped reform the church of Milan after the Reformation, Archbishop Blair of Hartford served as the principal concelebrant. He reminded all of us who are bishops that we are called to witness to a life of genuine holiness. Only in this way can we, as bishops, foster true spiritual renewal in our local churches.
After Mass we attempted to go to our first congregational visit, only to be caught up in a huge traffic jam that was caused by Rome’s observance of “National Unity Day” and “Armed Forces Day”. Both celebrations commemorate the ending of World War I. All traffic was diverted away from Piazza Venezia where the tomb of the unknown soldier is located. There was a wreath laying ceremony and also a fly over by the Italian air force. Unfortunately, it was directly in our path so what would have been a 20 minute drive devolved into a car ride of one hour and 40 minutes! Needless to say we were very late for our first meeting.
Tomorrow we will be visiting the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Clergy. These visits will be very important occasions to exchange views and to raise some important questions for clarification and direction.
May I ask that you please continue to pray for everyone here on this spiritual pilgrimage!
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.