Spending time with my spiritual father

I write these words from the Eternal City of Rome, whither I’ve come with my brother bishops from Region 11 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) for our ad limina visit. This is a regular and canonically required trip to pray at the limina apostolorum (the threshold of the apostles), the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul, and to meet with the successor of Peter. Yesterday (January 27) was the first official day of the pilgrimage, and it was extraordinary indeed. We gathered early in the morning for Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of the tomb of the Galilean fisherman to whom Jesus gave the keys of kingdom of heaven. And then, just about a half-hour later, we were ushered into the Apostolic Palace, and after traversing a number of elaborately decorated corridors and receiving a few salutes from Swiss Guards (I’ll confess that I rather like the salutes!), we lined up to meet the pope.

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