Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will leave next week for The Vatican on his first "ad limina" visit as bishop of the Diocese of Oakland.
The purpose is three-fold, Bishop Cordileone explained: "Ad limina" means "to the thresholds," of the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. The visiting bishops will say Mass where the saints are buried. The second reason is to meet with the pope and the third to present the report, called the "Quinquennial" (every five years) Report. The overriding reason is to "foster a spirit of communion with the bishops who have gone before us and with those today," the bishop said.
Traveling with Bishop Cordileone from the Oakland diocese will be Very Rev. George Mockel, the vicar general. As an auxiliary bishop, Bishop Cordileone made an earlier ad limina trip with Bishop Robert Brom of the Diocese of San Diego.
Unlike Pope John Paul II, who met with bishops individually, Bishop Cordileone said Pope Benedict XVI meets the bishops and receives their presentations in a group.
"This is the ongoing, comprehensive story of the activities of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Oakland," explained Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, OP, diocesan chancellor who was responsible for assembling the report. Because it had been seven years since the US bishops had last made ad limina visits, there was more to report, she said.
"In that seven-year period we built a cathedral, had two bishops — we had some real major things that needed a great deal of elaboration," Sister Glenn Anne said. "Our history is richer this time around."
The report itself consists of a 133-page main section that answers specific Vatican questions on 22 topics, such as clergy services, pastoral planning and finance — even the general state of the economy — along with two larger supporting volumes. "It's like a corporate annual report," she said.
The ad limina visit is from April 13-21. While there, Bishop Cordileone and Father Mockel will meet with various Vatican departments concerning the Quinquennial Report.
Afterward, Bishop Cordileone will attend meetings at the International Theological Institute, a Catholic theological school in Vienna of which he is a board member. He's also a member of a subcommittee on liturgy for the new Anglican ordinariate, and he will attend meetings with that group. Afterward, he will travel to Lourdes, the Marian shrine in France, where he will join with East Bay members of the Knights of Malta, who will be there on their annual pilgrimage. The bishop accompanied the group on its Lourdes pilgrimage last year.
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