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Monday, 17 April 1972


We are indeed pleased to have this occasion to meet you the members of the Committee for the Pontifical North American College of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States, and to express to you our deep interest in your work of fostering the welfare of the college.

The importance of your work is undeniable. For over a hundred years the bishops of the United States have sent students to be trained in that college to serve their Churches as sharers in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Here they have had at hand many institutes of learning and science whose fame is worldwide. And we know that today’s students are availing themselves widely, in accordance with the judgement of their superiors, of the olpportunities offered to them for study at different universities and institutes in Rome.

But it is not academical advantages alone that have made the existence of the North American College in Rome so worthwhile. The years spent in the city of Saint Peter’s See cannot fail to leave a deep spiritual impression. The monuments and works of art, the very stones recall the history of the Church that Christ built on the foundation of the apostles. Rome is the center to which members of the universal Church come from all over the world, to meet each other here, and to carry back with them and share with their people the awareness that is acquired here more than anywhere else of the unity and catholicity of the Church of Christ.

We invoke every assisting grace upon your work for ensuring that thomse who come to study in Rome will benefit to the greatest possible degree, both academically and spiritually. May the college long continue to produce priests who will minister to the people of God with the knowledge to give them light, with the holiness to inspire them, and with the zeal to labor untiringly in their service.

With all our heart we give you and the students and staff of the Pontifical North American College our special Apostolic Blessing.


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