Saturday, 15 February 1997
Dear Bishop Gelineau and Bishop Mulvee,
I am pleased to meet this pilgrimage from the Diocese of Providence, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese.
You have wished to come to Rome, to the city of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in order to strengthen the bonds of faith and love between your local Church and the see of Peter, to which has been entrusted, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, the “mission to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual Churches” (Christus Dominus, n. 2).
I hope that your visit will indeed confirm you in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith. Your commitment, at the approach of the third millennium, must be to live our Catholic heritage more fully and more deeply, and to communicate it whole and entire to the younger generation. With this intention I entrust you all to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. May almighty God pour forth his graces upon you and your families. May he bless your Diocese and your country.
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