One of our Sisters shared this note with me today concerning Pope Benedict who at the time was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. So I am happy to pass it along to all of you:
I met him several years ago when I was studying in Rome. He was the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I had the opportunity one morning to attend the Cardinal’s Tuesday morning Mass that he said in German at a Church to the left of St. Peters. I found Cardinal Ratzinger to be a very humble, gentle man. As he came out of the sacristy after Mass he peacefully took over an hour of his time to meet and shake hands with the hundreds who had attended this Mass. Yes, he took the time! A group of seminarians from Mundelein in Chicago were there. He walked among them encouraging them and quickly agreed to be part of a group picture with these young men. The two sisters I was with had an photo of the Cardinal that they asked him to autograph for a German sister in their community who had just turned 99. He so graciously wrote a few sentences in German; and, then looked at me and said “and who are you?” I said my name and the name of our community (the Sisters of Jesus Our Hope) and where I was from. As he shook my hand he said: “I’ve heard of your community”! As he moved on, I knew then that the Lord had given the Church a very humble servant in this holy priest! Needless to say, my heart rejoiced when he was elected to succeed John Paul II.
Let us pray for our country that all who hear Pope Benedict XVI’s words of encouragement and conversion will be open and accepting of his call to holiness for each individual in our nation. May we be the first to respond with open hearts to his words for the United States! Jesus Christ is truly our only Hope!
Note: Imagine! The Pope has heard of our community! As Sisters of Jesus Our Hope we are overwhelmed with Pope Benedict's theme for his visit to America: Christ Our Hope! What an affirmation of our mission and our charism! Keep your ears tuned to all that he will say while he is here!