Thursday, June 29, 2017

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Today is a great holiday here in Rome - not only for the Church but for the entire City - the feast of its patron saints - Saint Peter (1st Pope) and Saint Paul (Apostle to the Gentiles).  And it was a very busy couple of days here - for we celebrated not only the Solemnity, but also the creation of 5 new Cardinals of the Church.

Yesterday afternoon we gathered in St. Peter's Basilica for the Consistory - the liturgical celebration during which the Holy Father elevates men to the rank of "Cardinal."  One of the new Cardinals is someone that I have met in the course of my work and travel with Cardinal O'Brien.  Anders Cardinal Arborelius is the bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.  In February we were privileged to travel to Sweden for an investiture and while there we were warmly welcomed by (then Archbishop) Arborelius.  Here are some photos of our trip.  The first is Bishop Arborelius and Cardinal O'Brien during our visit to the Royal Household in Sweden.  The second is a photo of the two prelates together with Ambassador Bo Theutenburg, who at the time was Regent of the Lieutenancy for Sweden & Denmark.

And here is the newly appointed Cardinal Arborelius as he was greeting all the other Cardinals during yesterday's Consistory.  I was pretty close up - so was able to get these photos as he passed by.

This morning I attended the Mass for Sts. Peter and Paul, celebrated by Pope Francis.  As is fairly normal, as secretary to Cardinal O'Brien, I did not concelebrate (I had Mass in our chapel earlier in the morning).  I was seated very close to the front portico of the Basilica - and thus very close to the Holy Father's chair and the statue of Mary.  Here are photos from today's mass.

I am always struck by the devotion and tenderness with with our Holy Father venerates our Blessed Mother...

At the end of the Mass, as the Holy Father always does, he greeted each of the Cardinals present - including the new Cardinals.  Here is he with Cardinal Arborelius.

After the Mass I followed Cardinal O'Brien back into the Basilica (I'm actually surprised I made it inside without getting stopped).  There I was able to take a photo of the Cardinals together.

Then this afternoon we attended a reception and luncheon at the North American College for the new Archbishops of the United States.  You see, during the Mass the Holy Father blessed the Pallia (plural of Pallium - hey, may Latin classes are paying off).  These are the woolen "collars" that each year, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, are given to each Metropolitan Archbishop appointed during the past year as a sign of their closeness and faithfulness to the Holy Father.  There were several new archbishops for the United States: Joseph Cardinal Tobin (of Newark), Archbishop Paul Etienne (of Anchorage), and Archbishop Charles Thompson (of Indianapolis).  Gathered there were also many of the Cardinals who live in Rome or who were in Rome for the Consistory.  Here is a photo of all the Cardinals & Bishops who were present at the reception this afternoon.

Let me try to tell you who they all are:  Left to right.

Very Rev. Peter Harman (rector of the North American College), Kevin Cardinal Farrell (Prefect of the Dicastory for Laity, Family and Life), William Cardinal Levada (Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Roger Cardinal Mahoney (Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles), Archbishop Charles Thompson (Indianapolis), Joseph Cardinal Tobin (Newark), Archbishop Paul Etienne (Anchorage), James Cardinal Stafford (Archbishop emeritus of Denver, former Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary), Justin Cardinal Rigali (Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia), Archbishop James Green (Nuncio to Sweden - and uncle of Fr. Dan Powell of Harrisburg), James Cardinal Harvey (archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls), Theodore Cardinal McCarrick (Archbishop Emeritus of Washington), Edwin Cardinal O'Brien (my boss), and Bishop James Checchio (Metuchen).

I THINK I got them all right...

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