Day Two in Rome is concluding. Everyone has arrived from Region XIII safe and sound, and the work begins. Msgr. Jim Checchio, Rector of the Pontifical North American College (and classmate) has graciously welcomed the Region XIII Bishops and the College invited us to share the Eucharist with the community this evening, followed by a great show of hospitality and meal.
Our coordinator in Rome is Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, Director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education, a sabbatical program in Rome for American priests. Msgr. Figueiredo has made all of our arrangements with the various Congregations, Councils and Dicasteries, and is of great assistance to us. Two other priests have also been instrumental in making arrangements for our bishops; Rev. James Baron, a 5th year priest (newly ordained and student in Rome) of the Colorado Springs Dioceses, and Rev. Msgr. Thomas Powers, a staff member of the Congregation for Bishops and resident priest and spiritual director at the North American College. We are very grateful for their humble and able assistance.
Prior to our evening of relaxation and fraternity, we had a working session to plan our formal meetings with the Holy Father and the various dicasteries. Even though there were obvious signs of ‘jet lag’ among the recent arrivals, there is a sense of excitement and enthusiasm among the bishops and their guests.
We will have another working session in the morning to further clarify the particular topics we wish to discuss with the Holy Father and the heads of the various dicasteries. Even today, there were some last minute changes to the schedule. At this point, the group of ten bishops representing Region XIII will meet with the Holy Father on Friday, late morning.
A final note, and photo; in honor of this Sunday and the reading from today, here is a photo of one of my favorite statues, which is in the Library lobby here at the North American College. Please continue to pray that we, your bishops, may indeed be, good shepherds, in the service of the Good Shepherd and His Church.