Today Pope Francis invested 46 archbishops with the pallium the ancient symbol of their office as archbishop, the leader of a province in the Church. The Church,led by the pope, is divided into provinces led by an archbishop, which are then divided into dioceses led by bishops, which are then divided into parishes led pastors. This is so that there is no person on earth who does not have someone who is responsible for bringing them the gospel, and ministering to their needs. As I write this I am sitting in St. Patrick parish, in the diocese of Richmond, in the Province of Baltimore of the Catholic Church.
Also present as a great sign of the unity of the Church was a delegation from the Ecumencial Patriach of Constatntiople, Bartholomew the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Chrisitians.
While much of what is written about today's mass will focus on the Pope's words regarding persecution in the world. I was struck by his instruction to the new Archbishops. He said he wanted them to be not only men of prayer but "masters of prayer" teaching their people.
This Pope knows well from his experience as Archbishop how easily church leaders can be sucked into the quicksand of administration, even more so in the US where we are treated like any other corporation.
Today the Pope reminded all of us that prayer must be our number one priority, and every other task of life must come after that. We should all strive to be masters of prayer.