Church Gives Roots and Wings, Says Pope

Opens Pilgrim Center for Australians, Greets Bishops

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ROME, OCT. 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that Holy Mother Church gives her children roots and wings — the roots of the apostolic faith, and the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The Pope said this Wednesday when he inaugurated Domus Australia, the new pilgrim center in Rome for the faithful of Australia.

The Holy Father expressed his hopes for the success of the pilgrim center, noting that “here on earth, the Church’s long tradition of pilgrimage to holy places serves to remind us that we are heavenward bound, it refocuses our minds on the call to holiness, it draws us ever closer to the Lord and strengthens us with spiritual food for the journey.”

The Pontiff noted the many generations of pilgrims who have come to Rome to deepen their communion in the one Church of Christ.

“In so doing, they strengthen the roots of their faith; and roots, as we know, are the source of life-giving sustenance. In that sense, pilgrims to Rome should always feel at home here, and the Domus Australia will play an important part in creating a home for Australian pilgrims in the city of the Apostles,” he said. 

The Bishop of Rome went on to reflect on a phrase from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “There are two things that children should receive from their parents: roots and wings.”

“From our holy Mother, the Church,” he said, “we too receive both roots and wings: the faith of the Apostles, handed down from generation to generation, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, conveyed above all through the sacraments of the Church. Pilgrims to this city return to their homelands renewed and strengthened in their faith, and borne aloft by the Holy Spirit in the journey onward and upward to their heavenly home.”

New translation

Today, Benedict XVI addressed the bishops of Australia who are concluding their five-yearly ad limina visit to the Vatican.

Among his exhortations to the prelates, he emphasized the “special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy.”

“The new translation of the Roman Missal, which is the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the bishops and experts from all over the world, is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by his people,” he said, referring to the translation of the missal that will go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent.

“Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation,” the Pope said. “As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic. Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your Dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone. In this way, as in all your pastoral efforts, you will lead the Church in Australia towards her heavenly home under the sign of the Southern Cross.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of greeting at Domus Australia: www.zenit.org/article-33697?l=english

Full text of address to bishops: www.zenit.org/article-33698?l=english

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