Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Pope Benedict's Papal Visit

The Rhode Island Catholic interviews Bishop Thomas Tobin, on the Papal Visit (March 20, 2008):

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will travel to Washington to attend a private prayer service and meeting with the 350 bishops of the United States on April 16 in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The bishop will concelebrate Mass offered by the Holy Father at the new Nationals Park in the Washington, D.C. This will be the first non-baseball event held in the park, and will be attended by Catholics from across the country.

“I am truly looking forward to it,” said Bishop Tobin. “An opportunity to be with the Holy Father is always a blessing and especially since he’s making the pilgrimage here, I’m sure that his message will have great relevance for the bishops who are there and for the church in the United States in particular.

“I think that it is important for us to see this visit as an opportunity for spiritual renewal for the church throughout the United States — for our dioceses, for parishes, for schools,” he added.

“While the Holy Father is visiting just two cities — and there are many public events in those two cities — he’s making a pastoral visit to the church in the whole of the United States so I would hope that all of our people would see this as a gift to them, as a visit to them, and this would be an occasion for us to renew our faith and to renew our Catholic practice.”

Bishop Tobin will be accompanied by 200 pilgrims from the diocese to attend the Yankee Stadium Papal Mass, including "50 Knights of Columbus, representatives of youth ministry, diocesan employees, and faculty and students" from local schools.

During the mass, special recognition will be given to "the 200th anniversary of the Baltimore Archdiocese’s designation as an archdiocese, as well as the founding of four other dioceses — Boston, New York, Louisville and Philadelphia."