|Cardinal Pell tells the Holy Father that I am now your Rector.|
So, tonight, the Pope prays for you, as you should pray for him every day, not only at Mass, but in your private prayers as well. Some day I will tell you the full story, but when I was a seminarian, more than thirty years ago, Pope Paul VI received us in audience. He concluded his remarks to us by saying, "When you feel alone and afraid there is one person in this city who loves you and who prays for you, and that person is "il Papa"!
We have in the successor to Saint Peter a true Vicar of Christ, who intercedes for us and holds the Church together in unity. I have been privileged to know and work with the present Holy Father for over twenty years. I have known his keen intellect and his extraordinary pastoral zeal. I have sat enthralled at his ability to preach the Catholic Faith with simplicity and authenticity. Each Pope (like each one of us) is endowed with specific gifts which God gives to the Church just when she needs them. Thus Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope the Church needs today. And we thank God for that!
I'm about to get on the plane and can't wait to get home. There's been some important work and God has been so good to me these past couple weeks I've been away. But I can't wait to come home to you and the great work to which God calls us at Saint John's Seminary!