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Canadian celebrations in Rome come to an end

Andrew Santos

Monday, February 20, 2012

After an incredible mountain-top experience this past weekend, there continues to be a buzz in Rome.
Earlier this morning, Cardinal Thomas Collins celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Vatican crypt below St. Peter’s Basilica. He was joined by members of the Canadian delegation who accompanied him to Rome for the consistory celebrations. Reflecting upon the Transfiguration, the new Cardinal preached about the dichotomy of worship and action. He compared the consistory to the mountaintop experience of the apostles. (Among those apostles was St. Peter, whose remains were steps away from where the Mass was celebrated.) The Canadians, energized by their experience this past weekend, must now return home to resume the “action” of the Church.
Immediately following the Mass, Pope Benedict held an audience with the new Cardinals inside the Paul VI Audience Hall. He greeted the various delegations in their respective languages. He also addressed the new princes of the Church and their pilgrim contingents collectively in the following remarks, translated from Italian:
"With great joy I meet you, relatives and friends of the newly created Cardinals, one day after the solemn celebration of the Consistory, in which these your beloved pastors were called to the College of Cardinals. This allows me the opportunity to extend my cordial greetings more directly and more intimately to all and, in particular, my congratulations and my best wishes to the new Cardinals. May the Consistory, an important event, be for you all gathered here and for those who are related in various ways to the new Cardinals, a motive and incentive to gather with affection around them: May you feel ever closer to their hearts and their apostolic concern; may you listen with lively hope to their words as Fathers and teachers. Be one with them and each other in faith and charity, to be more fervent and courageous witnesses of Christ.
[...] Dear friends, again I thank you for your presence, which is significant. The creation of new cardinals is an occasion to reflect on the Universal mission of the Church in the history of man: in human matters, which are often convoluted and contrasting, the Church is always present, bringing Christ: the light and hope for all of humanity. Staying united with the Church and the message of salvation, she shares the means of anchoring oneself in Truth, reinforcing the importance of true values, and remaining serene in the face of whatever happens. I exhort you, then, always to remain united to your pastors, and to the new cardinals, in order to be in communion with the Church. Unity in the Church is a divine gift which must be defended and developed. I entrust you, dear brother cardinals, and the faithful accompanying you, to the protection of the Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul. With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing."
There was certainly much to reflect upon these last few days. The conversation continues on our Facebook page. Let us know your questions and comments concerning our coverage. We value your feedback. If you want to look back on any part of this past weekend, visit our Consistory tribute page on our website.
Stay tuned for details concerning our live coverage of Cardinal Collins' Mass of Thanksgiving, which will be celebrated at Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral on Feb. 29. Welcome home Cardinal Collins!

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