Loading
Pope Benedict and students celebrate 150th anniversary of North American College
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Superiors, students and former students of the Pontifical North American College were received in audience by the Holy Father at noon on Saturday in the Hall of Benedictions of the Apostolic Palace. The visit was part of their celebration of the institution's 150th year.

In an address to the gathering, Pope Benedict XVI gave thanks to God for the faithfulness of the College to the original mission of its founders. He said it trained "generations of worthy preachers of the Gospel" and ministers of the sacraments” who are “devoted to the Successor of Peter and committed to the building up of the Church in the United States of America."

The Pontiff said the presence of non-resident bishops and priests in Rome for the celebration, was appropriate to express their gratitude for the academic and spiritual formation which “has nourished (their) priestly ministry over the years."

The reunion, Pope Benedict said, provides all of them with an opportunity to renew their commitment to "the high ideals of holiness, fidelity and pastoral zeal which you embraced on the day of your ordination." He added that the celebration also offers a chance to "reaffirm (their) filial affection for the Church of Rome and renew (their) love for the College and (their) appreciation of its distinctive mission to the Church” in the United States."

The College, explained the Pope, is in a unique position to meet the "perennial challenge" of cultivating "an intellectual ‘culture’ which is genuinely Catholic in the United States,  confident in the profound harmony of faith and reason, and prepared to bring the richness of faith’s vision to bear on the pressing issues which affect the future of American society.”

He went on to praise the College in preparing its students intellectually and spiritually for the urgency of the Church's "mandate to bring Christ’s saving truth to the men and women of every time and place."

"I am confident that ... the College will continue to produce wise and generous pastors capable of transmitting the Catholic faith in its integrity, bringing Christ’s infinite mercy to the weak and the lost, and enabling America’s Catholics to be a leaven of the Gospel in the social, political and cultural life of their nation," he concluded.

Many alumni are in Rome this weekend to celebrate the College's establishment on December 8, 1859 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. The festivities, which are taking place in the Year for Priests, started on Friday with an opening Mass at the Basilica of the Holy Twelve Apostles.

The Mass was celebrated by an accomplished alumnus, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura Archbishop Raymond Burke. Among present and past students participating in the Mass was Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, who gave the homily.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
17

Liturgical Calendar

December 17, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 49: 2, 8-10
Gospel:: Mt 1: 1-17

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14