Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bishops reminded of priorities

Saint Paul's Pontifical International Missionary College, RomeTuesday, 4 September 2012

I'm sitting in the library of the Pontifical Missionary International College of Saint Paul in Rome.  It's 9:00 PM.  (The picture shows the entrance to the college.)  The library is full of bishops from all over the world  doing what I am doing ... checking email and trying to keep in touch with their dioceses back  home.

The program has kept us very busy.  Each day beginnings with Morning Prayer and Mass and then we are into the program.  Different presenters come in throughout the day to give us input on various topics of interest to new bishops.  The presenters are Cardinals, bishops, priests, etc.  Yesterday, we heard great presentations about the work of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.  Today we heard from the Congregation on Divine Worship.  The Cardinal Prefect reminded us that our major role and responsibility as bishops was to lead people to holiness through the celebration of the Eucharist and other Sacraments.  It might seem obvious, but I was glad to hear it, because often, I find myself worrying and spending much time on many other things - like getting a cement mixer to a construction site or finding ways of closing the abyss between expenses and income!

After each presentation, there is a good amount of time left for Questions and Answers.  I am amazed that bishops from Africa, Asia, South America - in many ways - are dealing with many of the same issues that we face in PNG.  It's consoling to know that we are not alone!

Meals are also a great time of sharing.  There is a real fraternity growing among the assembled bishops.  It's one of the great blessings of such a wonderful gathering.

I know that I'm getting many ideas for when I return to Mendi.

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