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Thursday,7 January 1988


Dear Friends in Christ,

I am happy to offer cordial greetings to all of you who have come to Rome from the United States and elsewhere to rejoice with Bishop Nolan and to give him prayerful support on the occasion of his Episcopal ordination. As you know, one of the marks of the Church is that it is catholic, or universal. It embraces men and women of every language, race and culture, who are called by Christ from every corner of the earth to form one holy people, united in faith and love.

For many years, Bishop Nolan’s ministry has borne witness to this universal dimension of the Church, serving as President of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and as National Secretary of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. You are all aware of his dedicated efforts, and many of you, I am sure, have supported these efforts through your own personal assistance and prayers. What a wonderful sign of the mark of Catholicism when local Churches encourage one another through mutual sharing of God’s manifold gifts!

It is the duty of a Bishop to have pastoral solicitude for the Church throughout the world, even as he exercises his Episcopal ministry in one particular part. The preaching of the Gospel of salvation, the most important work of a Bishop and the heart of the Church’s mission in the world, demands this universal outreach. For, when our Saviour entrusted this task to the Apostles and their successors, he told them: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matth. 28, 19). 

As Bishop Nolan undertakes his new responsibilities for the Military Archdiocese of the United States, I am certain that you will continue to pray for him, asking the Lord who calls him to Episcopal ministry in the Church to sustain him in joyful and generous service for the good of God’s people everywhere.

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


© Copyright 1988 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana