For Bishops of England and Wales, Jolly Good Timing

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2003 ( The bishops of England and Wales are on their five-yearly visit to Rome at an opportune time.

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“There is a real sense of joy and anticipation as we look forward to the Holy Father’s Jubilee celebrations and the beatification of Mother Teresa — and a real sense of honor that all our bishops are to be present in Rome for these historic events,” said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, president of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales.

Thirty-five bishops are participating in the 10-day visit “ad limina Apostolorum” which means “to the threshold of the Apostles.”

Monsignor Andrew Summersgill, general secretary of the bishops’ conference, said the visit has three parts. “The first is the personal meeting between the bishops and the Pope. It is particularly pleasing to do this in the context of the Pope’s silver jubilee. The second part is for the bishops to pray together particularly at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul.”

“The third part,” Monsignor Summersgill added, “is an opportunity to meet with members of the Roman Curia to discuss matters of mutual interests concerning the Church in England and Wales. In the middle of the visit, the bishops will be able to share in celebrations for World Mission Day, which is the day the Pope will beatify Mother Teresa of Calcutta whom several of the bishops met personally.”

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