Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
People on the Move
N° 105 (Suppl.), December 2007
At the General Audience
with Pope Benedict XVI
The morning of Wednesday, 25th April, was bright and sunny. The Seminar participants hurried across Piazza del Sant’Uffizio towards St. Peter’s Square which was brimming with people who came individually or in groups from everywhere to pay their homage to the Holy Father and listen to his words. The place reserved for the Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members was close to the area where the Holy Father was seated. Near him were Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino and Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, respectively President and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, who led the group. For the airport chaplains and pastoral agents, their presence at the General Audience was meant to express their love and fidelity to the successor of St. Peter and their support for his difficult Magisterium.
At the end of his catechesis, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims who were present. After extending a cordial welcome to those who spoke English, he said, “I am pleased to greet those attending the Thirteenth World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy Members…. May God bless you all!”
On behalf of the group, Rev. Michael Zaniolo, President of the US Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains, and Rev. David Lacy, Secretary General of the Catholic Airport Chaplains in Europe, personally greeted the Holy Father who encouraged their apostolic work. Speaking to Cardinal Martino, in fact, Pope Benedict defined airport ministry as a silent but effective apostolate. (N.C.)