Newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost is in Rome attending the formation course for new bishops. As his time permits, he is sending photos and regular updates on the program. Below is the sixth installment.
Greetings from Rome for Day Six (Sunday, Sept. 18) of new bishops’ school. Today is a free day. There are no scheduled lectures or official gatherings.
Most of us gathered this morning for the seminary community’s Sunday Mass at 7:30 a.m. One of the bishops from Guatemala presided and preached. Most of the Mass was celebrated in Spanish. At the end of the liturgy, he thanked the seminary community for their hospitality this week. He then asked us to pray for vocations which we did, invoking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Breakfast followed Mass.
About 10 a.m., Bishop David Bonnar, the bishop of Youngstown, Bishop Mark Eckman, the auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, and I got a taxi into the city. We spent some time wandering the streets and shops around and within Vatican City.
About 11:30 a.m., we staked out a spot in St. Peter’s Square to await the Angelus and Pope Francis’ appearance at the window of the papal apartment. Ten minutes before the Angelus, the window opened and the tapestry with his coat of arms was put in place. Precisely at noon, the Holy Father appeared at his window. (You can see the little white dot in the shadows of the window in one of my attached pictures. That’s him!)
He gave a short address, prayed the Angelus, blessed the gathered crowd and welcome various pilgrim groups to the Vatican – including our bishops’ formation group.
After the Angelus address, Bishop Bonnar, Bishop Eckman and I found a nice restaurant a few blocks away from Vatican City where we enjoyed a great lunch. Then, it was back to the Regina Apostolorum for a little siesta.
Tonight, we are going to the Villa Stritch for dinner. he Villa Stritch houses the American priests who work in the various Vatican dicasteries. They invited all the new bishops from the Unites States who are here to visit them and learn what they are doing at the Vatican.
Overall, today has been a most relaxing and enjoyable day.
Please be assured of my continued prayers for all of you. Tomorrow is our final day of “baby bishops’ school.” We are heading to Saint Peter’s Basilica for Mass early in the morning. At 10:15 a.m., we are scheduled to meet with Pope Francis. I will be remembering all of you in prayer tomorrow, especially at the celebration of the Eucharist. Have a blessed week!