Open your hearts to Archbishop Carlson
St. Ignatius of Antioch tells us that we should follow our bishop even as Jesus Christ follows His Father. This is the faith which the Church has fostered and a faith which in turn nurtures the Church itself. The connection between us and our Father is very real. It was Jesus Christ who was sent by the Father and established Peter as the head of the Church. It has been His Holy Spirit that has chosen the successors of Peter down through the ages, so we are well chosen and well connected! It is the successors of St. Peter who choose our Archbishops.
In our own day, only 15 years ago, Pope John Paul II chose one of the highest-ranking Archbishops in the Vatican, Cardinal (then Archbishop) Justin Rigali, to be Archbishop of St. Louis. Just one year ago, Pope Benedict XVI chose our own Archbishop Raymond Burke to be one of the highest-ranking Archbishops in the Vatican. The Vatican gives, and the Vatican takes away, and we and the Vatican are richly blessed by these choices.
During these past 15 years, we in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have seen Jesus Christ moving very powerfully through the leadership of our Archbishops. Cardinal Justin Rigali developed and implemented a pastoral vision and a pastoral plan for the entire Archdiocese. One of the many initiatives that pastoral plan called for was the very strong promotion of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. The restoration of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the promotion of Divine Mercy have profoundly affected the spiritual life of our Archdiocese. Remember the first Reconciliation weekend? For many priests, this was one of the most moving weekends of their priestly lives. He also arranged for the visit of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, in January of 1999. Pope John Paul II had first sent Archbishop Justin Rigali to prepare the way for his visit, and then he himself came to honor his promise.
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