Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI's Upcoming Visit

When Pope Benedict XVI celebrates his first papal Mass in the United States, it will be a "familial" gathering at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, said Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

The pontiff "comes to strengthen the faith, the hope and love of the Catholic Church in the United States," the archbishop said, adding that he hopes the pope's visit will "bring a new wind of Pentecost ... a new springtime" to the U.S. church.

But Pope Benedict also "will bring his friendship and his holy word to all the people of the United States," he added.

"Many good things are done in the Catholic Church in the United States," Archbishop Sambi said, but "as a good nuncio, I should say much more can be done to bring Jesus Christ to everybody who is thirsty for him, and to invite those who abandoned (the church) or (left because of) a decision of the church to return home."

"There is no church alive without a permanent evangelization," he continued. The church must "continuously give the word of God and the instrument of salvation," the sacraments, "to the faithful," he said.

Evangelization "is a very precise and clear mandate ... the last mandate of Jesus Christ to the apostles before the ascension into heaven," he said. "The church of today must continue for the human being of today ... the same mission of Jesus Christ."

During his visit the pope also will acknowledge the bicentennials of four archdioceses -- New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Louisville, Ky., established as Bardstown, Ky.

Bardstown, KY was the original seat of the diocese for Rome City,IN.

This greatest gift Pope Benedict XVI could give American Catholics would be for him to acknowledge Our Lady of America while he is at the National Shrine To The Immaculate Conception on April 16...The Pontiff's own birthday.

If you are going to any of the events, please don't forget to take Our Lady of America with you...medals, prayer cards, photo prints.

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