GREETING OF JOHN PAUL II
Tuesday, 7 January 1986
To the faithful of Thailand:
The whole Church in Thailand rejoices in the ordination to the Episcopate of her son and brother John Bosco Manat Chuabsamai, who has been chosen as Bishop of Ratchaburi. I am happy to greet you who are present in Rome for this joyful event and through you I wish to express my spiritual closeness to all the people of your beloved homeland.
I have vivid memories of my brief but significant visit to Thailand in May, 1984. On that occasion I was privileged to be the recipient of the exquisite courtesy and hospitality that one associates with the Thai people. I was also able to appreciate firsthand the particular challenges of preaching the Gospel and living the Christian life in the midst of your cultural and national environment.
Be assured of my prayers for all the people of God in Thailand as you continue to bear witness to Christ. I pray especially that the Lord will abundantly bless your local Churches with vocations to the priesthood a prayer which I know the new Bishop of Ratchaburi, who has laboured much in the preparation of candidates for the priesthood, joins me in offering to our loving and merciful God.
To each of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I willingly extend to your families and loved ones in Thailand.
To pilgrims from Tanzania:
It is a pleasure for me to greet you on this joyful occasion as you come to express spiritual solidarity with your brother in the Lord, Norbert Mtega, who has been called to serve the Church as Bishop of Iringa. Through you I wish to greet all of God’s people in your homeland of Tanzania. I welcome you in the name of Christ who draws us to himself, and who calls us to come and worship him with hearts filled with wonder and praise.
On yesterdays’ Solemnity of the Epiphany we had the marvellous opportunity to celebrate the Church’s mission of being a light to all the nations, a beacon of hope to the world, a clarion which announces the saving message of Jesus Christ to a world which too often is overshadowed by despair.
We rejoice with the whole Church in Iringa that now has a new shepherd, who, with humility and fortitude, with the example of a holy life and a zeal for doing good, will proclaim the Gospel to all people, calling all to believe in Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, and building up in truth and love all those who already have heard this saving call.
I urge you then to support Bishop Mtega with your prayers and by your active collaboration, so that through the leadership of its new Pastor, the Church in Iringa will shine forth ever more radiantly.
To each of you, and to all your families and loved ones at home, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing.
To pilgrims from the United States:
With these words of the Apostle Peter, I extend a welcome of joy to the new Bishop and to the representatives of the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Seattle, headed by Archbishop Hunthausen. I likewise greet all the others who surround the new Bishop his family and friends and all those from
Pittsburgh who offer him their solidarity and the support of their prayers.
What we are celebrating today is the mystery of the Episcopacy that great reality of humble pastoral service performed in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ by the Bishops of the Church in every generation.
Christ calls you, Bishop Wuerl, to this special service, and the Church sends you forth to a specific and beloved portion of God’s holy people, to collaborate with the Archbishop for the benefit of the flock.
Your life and your identity as a Bishop will be fulfilled in the evangelizing activity of proclaiming Jesus Christ and the life that he offers to the world. The priority of your ministry will be found in the very words of Christ: “I must announce the good news of the reign of God because that is why I was sent” .
The Lord has prepared you for this apostolic ministry and will assist you by his grace. The Church knows your charity and your priestly zeal and activities. I recall your dedicated collaboration with Cardinal Wright arid your service to the Holy See, as well as your zealous work on behalf of the seminaries in the United States.
And now, with confidence in Christ the Good Shepherd, go forth to work generously for God’s people in Seattle. Together with Archbishop Hunthausen and the whole ecclesial community, may you find strength and joy and support in your union with the Bishop of Rome and with the whole College of Bishops. And be assured of my love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
© Copyright 1986 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana