Index   Back Top Print

[ EN  - ES  - FR  - IT  - PT ]



Thursday, 4 October 1979


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

From Philadelphia to Des Moines, from Des Moines to Chicago! In one day I have seen a great part of your spacious land, and I have thanked God for the faith and the achievements of its people. This evening brings me to Chicago, to Holy Name Cathedral. I am grateful to the Lord for the joy of this encounter.

My special gratitude goes to you, Cardinal Cody, my Brother for many years in the College of Bishops, the Pastor of this great See of Chicago. I thank you for your kind invitation and for all you have done to prepare for my coming. A greeting of esteem and love goes also to all the priests, both diocesan and religious, who share so particularly and intimately in the responsibility of bringing the message of salvation to all the people. I am likewise looking forward to meeting people from all categories in the Church: deacons and seminarians, religious brothers and women religious, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, the single, the widowed, the young and the children : so that we can celebrate together our ecclesial unity in Christ.

It is with a special joy that I greet all of you who are present here in Holy Name Cathedral, to which, by God's grace, I return once more. Here there is symbolized and actuated the unity of this Archdiocese, this local Church—rich in history and in fidelity, rich in generosity to the Gospel, rich in the faith of millions of men, women and children who over the decades have found holiness and justice in our Lord Jesus Christ.

And today I wish to celebrate with you the great mystery expressed in the title of your Cathedral : the Holy Name of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary.

I have come to you to speak of salvation in Jesus Christ. I have come to proclaim it anew : to proclaim this message to you and with you and for you—and for all the people. As Successor of the Apostle Peter speaking in the Holy Spirit, I too proclaim : "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given by which we must be saved" (Acts 4 :12).

It is in the name of Jesus that I come to you. Our service to the needy of the world is exercised in the name of Jesus. Repentance and the forgiveness of sins are preached in his name (cf. Lk 24 :27). And through faith, all of us have "life in his name" (Jn 20 :31).

In this name—in the holy name of Jesus—there is help for the living, consolation for the dying, and joy and hope for the whole world.

Brothers and sisters in the Church of Chicago : let us do everything "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Cal 3 :12).

May the words which I address to you on my arrival here—coming from him who is called to be servant of the servants of God—be for all of Chicago, the authorities and the people, an expression of my fraternal solidarity. How greatly I would like to meet each one of you personally, to visit you in your homes, to walk your streets so that I may better understand the richness of your personalities and the depth of your aspirations. May my words to you be an encouragement for all those who strive to bring to your community a sense of brotherhood, dignity, and unity. For in coming here I want to show my respect—beyond the limit of the Catholic faith, even beyond all religion—for man, for the humanity that is in every human being. The Christ, whom I unworthily represent, taught me to do this. I must obey his command of fraternal love. And I do it with great joy.

May God uplift humanity in this great City of Chicago!


© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana