The view from Archbishop Kurtz’s Room at North American College
I looked for priests from Louisville in Rome at the Mass and did not find them, but met two retired priests of Covington, Kentucky, so I was partly successful. I spent most of my time beginning to meet bishops with whom I will participate in the synod. They come from every continent.
It was wonderful to meet the other synod delegates. The real work of this three-week long synod – called the “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” – begins tomorrow morning. Later this afternoon I will meet with Cardinal Dolan and the other United States bishop delegates to make final plans.
The signal that the work of the synod has arrived for me was the assignment of my seat – row E, seat 9 in section 1 – and my badge. Tomorrow, I begin the process of listening to many five-minute presentations as we all seek themes to hold up for our Church as we announce again the good news of Jesus Christ. On Tuesday, I will submit my own intervention on the “Blessing of the Child in the Womb.”
Our archdiocesan Why Catholic? theme of “Pray First” was brought home to me in the writings of St. John of Avila, who was declared a doctor of the Church on Sunday. This 16th-century Carmelite was quoted as saying that trying to please God without prayer is like swimming with one arm or walking on one foot. Though written 400+ years ago, St. John of Avila’s reflections are very relevant today. My prayers are with all of the Why Catholic? groups that began meeting in the last week.
On Thursday, our Holy Father will initiate the “Year of Faith” to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I look forward to that Mass and will have everyone in our Archdiocese in my prayers.