Bishop John F. Kinney of St. Cloud, Minnesota, had dreamed of joining the circus as a child. His life took a different path, but his love and respect for circus performers have always remained.
So much so that he has extended his stay in Rome for an Ad Limina visit to celebrate mass at St. Peter's Basilica next week with an international group carnival, circus and auto-racing performers and their chaplains.
The group will celebrate mass each day in a different language during the week of Dec. 13. Bishop Kinney will give the homily during the English mass.
While the bishop has never served as a circus chaplain, he has served as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' liaison to the group for three years.
He says the performers' ability to bring joy to others shows the importance of their work.