Monday, March 19, 2018

Pope Francis "Prayer is the first task of the Bishop" Ordination Mass of Bishops - FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis consecrated three new bishops to the service of the Church on Monday, March 19, 2018, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Three new bishops are:
 – Mons. Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag of the clergy of the Diocese of Pelplin (Poland), born on February 6, 1968, in Więcbork (Poland), ordained priest on 30 May 1993, elected titular Archbishop of Maastricht and nominated Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua on February 15, 2018;
 – Mons. Alfred Xuereb of the clergy of the Diocese of Gozo (Malta), born October 14, 1958, in Gozo (Malta), ordained priest on May 26, 1984, titular Archbishop of Amantea and appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Korea and Mongolia on February 26, 2018;
 – Mons. José Avelino Bettencourt of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Ottawa (Canada), born May 23, 1962, in the Azores (Portugal), ordained priest on May 29, 1993, elected titular Archbishop of Novigrad and appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia and Armenia February 26, 2018.


Vatican Basilica
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Monday, March 19, 2018

Dear brothers and children,

it will do us good to reflect carefully on what high ecclesial responsibility our brothers are promoted. Our Lord Jesus Christ, sent by the Father to redeem men, sent the twelve apostles into the world, because filled with the power of the Holy Spirit they proclaimed the Gospel to all peoples and gathered them under one shepherd, sanctified them and guided them to salvation. .

In order to perpetuate this apostolic ministry from generation to generation, the Twelve joined the collaborators by transmitting them with the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit received from Christ, which conferred the fullness of the sacrament of the Order. Thus, through the uninterrupted succession of bishops in the living tradition of the Church this primary ministry has been preserved and the work of the Savior continues and develops up to our times. In the bishop surrounded by his priests, the same Lord Jesus Christ, the high priest for ever, is present among you.

Indeed, it is Christ who in the ministry of the bishop continues to preach the Gospel of salvation and to sanctify believers through the sacraments of faith. It is Christ who in the bishop's fatherhood increases his body, which is the Church, of new members. It is Christ who guides the people of God in the earthly pilgrimage to eternal happiness in the wisdom and prudence of the bishop.

Accept, therefore, with joy and gratitude these our brothers, whom we bishops with the laying on of hands today associate with the episcopal college. Give them the honor of Christ's ministers and dispensers of the mysteries of God, to whom the testimony of the gospel and the ministry of the Spirit for sanctification is entrusted. Remember the words of Jesus to the Apostles: "Whoever listens to you, hears me, who despises you, despises Me and who despises Me, despises Him who sent me."

As for you, dear brothers, chosen by the Lord, reflect that you have been chosen among men and for men, you have been constituted in things that concern God. Not for other things. Not for business, not for social life, not politics. In fact, "Episcopate" is the name of a service, not an honor. Since the bishop is more responsible for serving than for domination, according to the commandment of the Master: "Who is the greatest among you, become as the smallest, and who governs, as one who serves". Escape from the temptation to become princes.

Announce the Word on every occasion: opportune and not opportune. Admonished, rebuked, exhorted with all magnanimity and doctrine. And through the prayer and offering of sacrifice for your people, draw from the fullness of the holiness of Christ the manifold riches of God. The bishop's prayer: the first task of the Bishop. When the widows of the Hellenists went to the apostles to complain because they did not care so much about them, they came together and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they invented the diaconate. And Peter, when he explains this, what does he say? "You do this, this and this; to us, prayer and the proclamation of the Word "(cf. Acts 6: 1-7). The bishop's first task is prayer. A bishop who does not pray does not do his duty, does not fulfill his vocation.

In the Church entrusted to you, be faithful custodians and dispensers of the mysteries of Christ, placed by the Father at the head of his family; always follow the example of the Good Shepherd, who knows his sheep, is known by them and has not hesitated to give them life.

Love with love of father and brother all those whom God entrusts to you. First of all, the presbyters and the deacons, your collaborators in the ministry. Proximity to priests, please: may they find the bishop on the very day they seek him, or at most the next day. Proximity to the priests. But also closeness to the poor, the defenseless and to those who need hospitality and help. Encourage the faithful to cooperate in their apostolic commitment and listen to them willingly.

Pay close attention to those who do not belong to the one fold of Christ, because they have been entrusted to you in the Lord. Remember that in the Catholic Church, gathered in the bond of charity, you are united with the College of Bishops and you must bring within you the solicitude of all the Churches, generously assisting those who are most in need of help.

And be vigilant, watch with love over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit places you to govern the Church of God. And do so in the name of the Father, whose image you are making present; in the name of Jesus Christ, his Son, from whom you are constituted masters, priests and pastors. And in the name of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Church and with its power supports our weakness.

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