ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Thursday, 31 October 1974
Venerable and beloved Brothers,
It is with a sense of deep joy that we welcome you, Archbishops and Bishops of Alberta, ad limina Apostolorum.
We are pleased to have this significant occasion to tell you of our fraternal affection in the Lord and to express our solidarity with you in your pastoral ministry of service to God’s people.
This fraternal affection and solidarity spring forth from the great mystery of our oneness in Jesus Christ, in his priesthood and in the College of Bishops, to which the Lord has called us, in order that, acting in his Name and assisted by the power of his Holy Spirit, we may, together, fulfil our individual and particular roles for the huilding up of the Body of the Church.
And today, in the love of Christ, we celebrate and give expression to this special unity which is his precious gift and in which we find the joy and full meaning of our own lives. At the same time we realize the special responsibility that is ours to work to promote the unity of the entire Church, to strive untiringly for this end by word land example and prayer.
And on our part we wish today, as Successor of Peter, to give the assurance that we are close to each of you as you work at the service of the Gospel and fulfil your ministry (Cfr. 2 Tim. 4, 5). The joys and sorrows, the sufferings, the hardships, the difficulties, the challenges, and the successes and hopes of your ministry are likewise ours. Know that you have our support and our love as you perform your daily tasks of giving witness to Christ and to his Kingdom.
We ask you to take our greetings to your beloved people, to assure them of our union with them and of our universal and affectionate fatherhood. In the Lord we greet your priests and seminarians, your religious, and all your laity. We are praying particularly for the sick, the suffering, the afflicted.
And as we confirm you our brethren in the faith, in accordance with our own charism of service (Cfr. Luc. 22, 32), we bless you and all your people in the name of Christ.