This week, Pope Francis celebrates his fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the Priesthood and Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., shares his warmest prayers and well-wishes upon the occasion:
On Friday, December 13, our Holy Father Pope Francis celebrates his Fiftieth Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. Anniversaries are milestones in all of our lives and certainly worthy of our notice. Because Pope Francis, as Vicar of Christ and Successor of St. Peter, is the Father and Shepherd of the Catholic Church throughout the world, we should celebrate this wonderful milestone with him in prayer.
You may have noticed that Pope Francis concludes all his public audiences and appearances in Rome (as he did at our recent Ad Limina visit), and wherever he goes, with the simple phrase, “Pregare per me, pray for me.” At first, this request may sound unusual or different from his predecessors, and that would be true. But, when you think about it, such a request makes perfect sense. After all, he carries on his shoulders the weight of responsibility for teaching, governing and sanctifying the entire Church, 1.2 billion Catholics. If anyone needs our prayers, the Holy Father should be at the top of our list as Catholics.