Greetings from Rome. Yesterday, I met Pope Francis. It was the highlight of the ten-day convocation for all the new Bishops from around the world who have been appointed in the past twelve months. We have been listening to each other’s stories.
One could not help be moved by listening to the story of the Bishop of Aleppo, Syria, who spoke from a Church of Martyrs as the Catholic people continue to practice their faith amid war and upheaval.
Approximately two hundred and fifty (250) new Bishops gathered in Rome for these days. Our meeting with the Holy Father, Pope Francis encouraged us to be joyful evangelisers of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I took with me to the meeting with the Holy Father all of the prayers and the good wishes of the Diocese. The time in Rome has been a blest time of pilgrimage to the Chair and the Tomb of Peter. Last Saturday morning, we celebrated Mass in St Peter’s and afterwards visited the Tomb of St Peter, directly below the main altar. My first ‘ad limina’ visit is now complete.
Following on from the convocation for newly appointed Bishops was the Pontifical Consillium for the New Evangelisation and the first talk was given by Jean Vanier. His talk was amazing as he spoke of love for God’s special people.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of listening to a similar modern day prophet Brother Roger of Taize who has inspired many. It really has been a blest time in the city of Rome enjoying, praying and being with the Holy Father.
This morning, it is Mass in St Peter’s where again, I will pray for the Diocese.
Bishop of Rockhampton