Our day concluded with Mass at St. John Lateran. This basilica serves as the Cathedral of Rome, and of course, the Holy Father is also the Bishop of Rome. It is interesting that while in Rome, the Eucharistic prayer calls for the mention of “Benedict XVI, our Pope and Bishop.”
After the Second Vatican Council, an American Bishop working in Rome at the time, envisioned the growth of International priests that would be required to staff the increasing number of Vatican Offices. That individual was Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, and priest from Chicago. In 1968, he ‘lobbied’ for the purchase of two apartment buildings just miles from the Vatican, near a large beautiful Park. That residence was named after the first American Cardinal to be named ‘Prefect’ of one of the Vatican Congregations, Cardinal Stritch. Today, 18 American priests live there. Our day today concluded with a reception with these hard working, dedicated priests. The universal Church is well served by many such self-less priests and religious, and even lay people.