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WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald A. Bishop Gettelfinger, who turned 75 last October, had submitted his resignation at that time, as required by canon law. Bishop-designate Thompson, 50, has held a variety of parish, educational and administrative posts since his ordination as a priest of the Louisville Archdiocese in 1987.
The appointment and resignation were announced April 26 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-designate Thompson will be ordained and installed as head of the Evansville Diocese June 29 at St.
Archbishop Kelly said he was delighted that Pope Benedict had decided to make another Louisville archdiocesan priest a bishop, following the December 2009 appointment of Bishop William F. The retired archbishop said he was also certain that both Bishop-designate Thompson and Bishop Medley are glad the two of them are in such close proximity to one another — Evansville lies just 40 miles northwest of Owensboro. Born April 11, 1961, in Louisville, Bishop-designate Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bellarmine College, a master of divinity degree from St. Though news of the appointment as bishop was held in confidence until the April 26 announcement, Bishop-designate Thompson said he did share it with his parents, Coleman and Joyce Thompson, of Marion County. In addition to holding a number of parish posts, he was archdiocesan superintendent of Catholic education, 1974-80, and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, 1980-88. Named bishop of Evansville on March 11, 1989, he was ordained and installed exactly a month later.
Bishop Gettelfinger made national news in 2009 when he declined to attend a right-to-life dinner where Michael Steele, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to speak because he objected to comments the GOP leader had made about abortion. Asked in a GQ magazine interview if he thought women had the right to choose abortion, Steele, a Catholic, answered, “Yeah. Bishop Gettelfinger was episcopal liaison to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting for many years.
The Evansville Diocese, covering 5,010 square miles, has nearly 500,000 people, of whom about 65,000 are Catholics.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians are called to bring hope, happiness and life to a world marked by despair, sadness and death, Pope Benedict XVI said. For his catechesis, Pope Benedict looked at the meaning of Easter and Christ’s resurrection for the Christian community.
By seeking what is above and not what is on earth, the apostle was not urging people to scorn or alienate themselves from the real world, the pope said. But above all, people must fill their hearts with love so as to become new men and women, he said. At the end of the general audience, the pope was flown by helicopter back to the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
This week’s podcast prepares the faithful for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As Church officials keep emphasizing, Pope John Paul II is being beatified May 1 not for his performance as pope, but for how he lived the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. When the Vatican’s sainthood experts interviewed witnesses about the Polish pontiff, the focus of their investigation was on holiness, not achievement. What emerged was a spiritual portrait of Pope John Paul, one that reflected lifelong practices of prayer and devotion, a strong sense of his priestly vocation and a reliance on faith to guide his most important decisions. More than leadership or managerial skills, these spiritual qualities were the key to his accomplishments — both before and after his election as pope in 1978. Wojtyla’s friends of that era always remembered his contemplative side and his habit of intense prayer. During the German occupation, Wojtyla began attending weekly meetings called the “living rosary” led by Jan Tyranowski, a Catholic layman who soon became his spiritual mentor. At a spiritual crossroads in 1942, Wojtyla entered Krakow’s clandestine theological seminary. He was ordained four years later, as Poland’s new communist regime was enacting restrictions on the Catholic Church. Father Wojtyla earned a doctorate in moral theology and began teaching at Lublin University, at the same time publishing articles and books on ethics and other subjects. A few weeks later, Pope John Paul I was dead, and the “cross” of the papacy fell to Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.
Early in his pontificate, on May 13, 1981 — the feast of Our Lady of Fatima — the Polish pope experienced a brush with death that intensified his already strong devotion to Mary.
Years later, the pope published the “third secret” of Fatima, which described a period of suffering for the church and the shooting of a bishop in white — a figure the pope believed was linked to the attempt on his life.

Pope John Paul’s private prayer life was intense, and visitors who attended his morning Mass described him as immersed in an almost mystical form of meditation. Throughout his life, Pope John Paul was a devotee of the Divine Mercy movement, which was founded in the early 1900s by a Polish nun from Krakow, Sister Faustina Kowalska. The pope beatified Sister Faustina in 1993 and canonized her in 2000, proclaiming the second Sunday of Easter as Mercy Sunday throughout the world. He was convinced that God sometimes speaks to the world through simple and uneducated people.
In his final years, the suffering brought on by Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other afflictions became part of the pope’s spiritual pilgrimage, demonstrating in an unusually public way his willingness to embrace the cross. With his beatification, the Church is proposing not a model pope but a model Christian, one who witnessed inner holiness in the real world, and who, through words and example, challenged people to believe, to hope and to love.
The worldwide Catholic community will rejoice at the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II scheduled for May 1, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, in Rome. It appears to be universally agreed upon that Pope John Paul was a pope of the people, attentive to each individual he met. During one of those special visits, Bishop D’Arcy recalls the pope’s warmth and sense of humor when he had the opportunity to walk beside Pope John Paul II as they exited the chapel after Mass. Bishop D’Arcy met with Pope John Paul in Boston in 1979, at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 and several other cities around the country and in Canada, as well.
Bishop D’Arcy found great inspiration for his own vocation from this man who was priest first above all else. Father Daryl Rybicki, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in South Bend, and his mother Eileen met with pope John Paul following a private Mass at the Vatican in 1994.
Another local clergy, Father Daryl Rybicki, pastor of Corpus Christi in South Bend, remains inspired by his memories of meetings with the humble Holy Father.
Following the Mass, Father Rybicki and his mother were escorted to the reception room where they spent a good deal of personal time speaking with the pope, due to his now clear schedule. A few years later, Father Rybicki was privileged once again to concelebrate Mass in Rome, this time with nearly 40 priests and Pope John Paul II in the Vatican garden, after which the pope visited personally with each priest and then processed through the crowd. Following the audience they arrived at their hotel in search of the invitation to attend the morning Mass in the papal chapel.
Following the Mass that had the couple entranced with the pope’s “prayerfulness and humility,” the Dahms were escorted into the reception room to meet the pontiff. Dee Dee recalled that at the end of the receiving line stood a family with a child with Down syndrome. Perhaps Dee Dee speaks for all who had the privilege of meeting personally with Pope John Paul II when she said, “It was one of the biggest thrills of my life. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and its parishes assume no responsibility for, nor do they necessarily endorse, these websites, their content, or their sponsoring organizations.
20, 1935, in Ramsey, Ind., Gerald Andrew Gettelfinger was ordained a priest of the Indianapolis Archdiocese May 7, 1961.
At the time of his appointment he was serving as vicar general of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and pastor of Sts. Peter’s Square, many of them young Italian students who were still off from school for the Easter holidays. His mother died when he was 9, and three years later he lost his only brother to scarlet fever.
It took shape during the dramatic years of World War II, after a wide variety of other experiences: Among other things, he had acted with a theater group, split stone at a quarry, written poetry and supported a network that smuggled Jews to safety. In the pope’s 1996 book, “Gift and Mystery,” he remembered his joy at being called to the priesthood, but his sadness at being cut off from acquaintances and other interests. After two years of study in Rome, he returned to Poland in 1948 and worked as a young pastor. In 1958, at age 38, he was named an auxiliary bishop of Poland, becoming the youngest bishop in Poland’s history. Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk who had previously threatened the pope, shot and seriously wounded the pontiff in St. He prayed the liturgy of the hours, he withdrew for hours of silent contemplation and Eucharistic Adoration, and he said the rosary often — eventually adding five new luminous mysteries to this traditional form of prayer.
Her special devotion to the divine mercy of God was a theme the pope himself took up in his 1980 encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” (“Rich in Mercy”). Pope John Paul’s death in 2005 came on the eve of Mercy Sunday, and his beatification May 1 will be celebrated on Mercy Sunday. Although the Vatican was sometimes humorously referred to as a “saint factory” under Pope John Paul, the pope was making a very serious effort to underline what he called the “universal call to holiness” — the idea that all Christians, in all walks of life, are called to sanctity.

In his later years, he said repeatedly that what kept him going was not the power of the papacy but the spiritual strength that flowed from his priestly vocation.
Pope John Paul, whose global travels and genuine pastoral presence, united the faithful across the globe during his rich and fruitful 26-year papacy. D’Arcy recounted the privilege of meeting with the Holy Father over a dozen times throughout his own 26 years as bishop of this diocese, in several locations and settings.
Galic enjoyed the pope’s company a second time six years later while visiting Rome, this time with his own brothers. Galic said Pope John Paul asked him where he was from and sent blessings to all his people. Father Rybicki with his mother, Eileen, then 72, traveled through Poland and Rome with a group from their area in the fall of 1994. But, said Dee Dee, “there was no letter.” So the couple spoke with several in authority in hopes of securing a seat at the Mass. Banners commemorating Pope John Paul II and his pontificate were hung between the columns surrounding the square in the run-up to the Polish pope’s May 1 beatification. His father died when he was 20, and friends said Wojtyla knelt for 12 hours in prayer and sorrow at his bedside. He said he always felt a debt to friends who suffered “on the great altar of history” during World War II, while he pursued his underground seminary studies.
From the beginning, he focused much of his attention on young people, especially university students — the beginning of a lifelong pastoral interest. He became archbishop of Krakow in 1964, and played a key role in the Second Vatican Council, helping to draft texts on religious liberty and the church in the modern world. Slawomir Oder, said Pope John Paul spent entire nights lying with his arms outstretched on the bare floor, fasted before ordaining priests or bishops and flagellated himself with a belt.
Many across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend recall with gratitude and joy their own personal meetings with the devoted Holy Father.
Bishop D’Arcy has fond memories of the five “ad limina” visits — visits between the pope and the bishops of the world — in the Vatican beginning in 1983. Aloysius Parish in Yoder, and director of the Vocations Office in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, met Pope John Paul for the first time while he was in Rome on vacation.
The brothers with their wives were invited along with the monsignor to meet with the pope at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo.
Bishop D’Arcy had written a request letter to the Vatican for Father Rybicki to concelebrate Mass with the pope. The experience is emblazoned in my memory.” As he stood next to the pope, Father Rybicki realized that as they celebrated Mass they shared in the same ministry, the same priesthood. The couple was invited, in response to a letter of request from Bishop D’Arcy, to attend an audience with Pope John Paul along with the multitude at St.
After several hours of roaming the streets and praying the rosary, the Dahms were told room would be made for them.
During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors.
Students would join him on hiking and camping trips, which always included prayer, outdoor Masses and discussions about the faith.
These visits, said Bishop D’Arcy, kept the bishops of the world “linked to the Apostles,” through their pope.
Though Pope John Paul was scheduled to be traveling, said Father Rybicki, the trip was canceled at the last minute.
He credited Mary with saving him, and he later traveled to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, where he placed a bullet fragment removed from his body in the crown of a statue of Mary. So the next morning Father Rybicki and his mother, along with just a few of Pope John Paul’s household staff, entered the chapel at Castel Gandolfo. He was fluent in numerous languages: his native Polish and also Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Croatian, Portuguese, Russian and Latin. Galic was introducing his brothers to the pope when one of the brothers and his wife received a surprise blessing and congratulations from the Pope John Paul II when he learned it was their 40th wedding anniversary.
This time I am proud that the beatification of the blessed John Paul II will be watch live.

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