Bishops to visit Rome on Ad Limina spiritual pilgrimage

20/12/2010

The Catholic Bishops of Australia will travel to Rome in October 2011 on a spiritual pilgrimage designed to celebrate and strengthen their communion with the universal Church and the Successor of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI.

The pilgrimage is known as the 'Ad Limina Apostolorum' visit - or 'to the threshold of the Apostles' - and it will take place from 10-22 October 2011.

All Bishops who are charged with the leadership of a Diocese are required to make an Ad Limina visit every five years and present a report on the pastoral situation of the local Church. It is an important spiritual pilgrimage and a reminder of a local Bishop’s wider role in communion with the Bishops of the world. Due to the increasing number of Bishops in the world and the circumstances of the declining health of the late Pope John Paul II the visit was delayed two years.

The key events for Australia’s Bishops will be a visit to the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul, pastors and pillars of the Roman Church, and a personal meeting with the Holy Father.

The visit is also seen as an important part of the Holy Father’s pastoral ministry, when he as head of the College of Bishops receives his brothers with whom he exercises pastoral ministry and listens and talks with them about their mission in their Diocese.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide said he and his fellow Bishops would be seeking the prayers of those in their diocesan community as they prepared for the Ad Limina pilgrimage.

"The Bishops wish to involve the whole Catholic community in reflection and prayer, as we prepare for this spiritually significant event," Archbishop Wilson said.

"The Ad Limina visit confirms and celebrates that which we profess at Mass each week in the Nicene Creed when we express our belief in the ‘one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’.

"Our faith was handed down to us from Jesus by the Apostles and as Bishops we are charged with the enormous responsibility of continuing and handing on that tradition. The Ad Limina visit is an important physical and spiritual milestone in the carrying out of that ministry."

While in Rome, the Bishops will visit various Vatican Congregations and other organisations.


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