Friday, April 29, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI: Christ’s humble servant

Our Lord has blessed us with a new shepherd for the universal Church, Pope Benedict XVI. Having enjoyed the extraordinary service of Pope John Paul II, we prayed fervently for a worthy successor to St. Peter as Vicar of Christ on earth. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger worked intimately with our late Holy Father for practically his entire pontificate. His words at the Mass of Christian Burial for Pope John Paul II and since the time of his election make clear the profound esteem which he has for the late Holy Father and his desire to continue Pope John Paul II’s work of the new evangelization.

On April 23 I offered the Holy Mass, with the participation of priests, consecrated persons and laity from throughout the archdiocese, for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI. We cannot imagine the heaviness of the burdens of his office. We want to lighten those burdens with our prayers, our affectionate love and our obedience. The Mass offered for his intentions was the best way that the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis could assist our new Holy Father at the beginning of his service as successor of St. Peter.
We attended this Mass and it was a wonderful blessing to have been there...Reminiscent, in many respects, of the High Masses of included Latin hymns, chant, incense, profound reverence and dignity...The procession before Mass included the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre, the Knights and Dames of Malta, seminarians, and priests and deacons of the Archdiocese. Others attending included Fr. Lenhardt of the Institute of Christ the King, Fr. Oppenheimer and seminarians from the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, and Fr. Jay Alvarez from Opus Dei. A number of Religious Sisters were in attendance as well. A transitional deacon arrayed in vestments matching the Archbishop's chasable, chanted the Gospel - it was done perfectly and it was a wonderful experience which rarely happens these days. Archbishop Burke gave an excellent homily.

The Archbishop provides us with an adaptation of his homily from last Saturday evening, here.

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