Preacher's Style Impressed Pope

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 7, 2004 ( John Paul II says the spiritual retreat he and members of the Roman Curia attended last week was preached with passion.

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On Saturday, the Pope expressed his appreciation when he greeted Monsignor Bruno Forte, president of the School of Theology of Southern Italy, who preached the Spiritual Exercises at the Vatican. The theme of the almost weeklong retreat was «Following You, Light of Life.»

The Holy Father stressed the «passion» with which Monsignor Forte «expressed such contents, repeatedly making reference to the ministerial experiences of everyday life.»

«With the style that characterizes his theological research and his pastoral activity, he offered precious stimulation to our minds and hearts for an ever more committed following of him who is the Light of the world,» the Pope said.

«I also wish to manifest to him special appreciation for the colloquial and praying tone that his preaching gave our journey,» the Holy Father said.

That tone, he added, helped to «lift our spirits to God in that contemplative attitude, pervaded by faith and love, to which I do not cease to invite the People of God, exhorting the Christian community to shine in the midst of the world first of all by the art of prayer.»

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