Continuing with our “Bishops Energized for World Youth Day” series, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) have taken over the blog today. This morning Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of San Angelo, Texas, highlights the great joy that comes from experiencing firsthand the enthusiasm and faith of the world’s Catholic youth. This afternoon, another OMI, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, explains why he hasn’t missed a single WYD since he was ordained a bishop in 1990. Bishop Pfeifer’s testimony follows.
It is a joy to travel to WYD in Madrid, Spain with priests, a woman religious, other adults and wonderful young people of the Diocese of San Angelo to first and foremost experience the abundance of God’s love as manifested in all young people who gather for this wonderful encounter with Jesus Christ.
Another main reason for going to WYD is because of the beautiful marks of our Church, which is one and Catholic, and there is no better way to express this loving unity that Christ wants for all the youth of the world than by being present at an event that truly brings together youth from all over planet Earth.
Blessed John Paul II, guided by the Holy Spirit, gave many wonderful gifts to our Catholic church as our pope, and one of the special gifts he has left us is this joyful and exciting worldwide gathering of youth. WYD is a splendid opportunity for the youth of the world to be with the Vicar of Christ, our Holy Father, and to experience in a personal way the love that the pope has for all the youth.
Having been at many WYD before, I am sure that once again my own personal life and ministry as a bishop will be enriched with new hope and joy, when I experience the great enthusiasm and faith of youth from all over the world.
My great wish for all who have the joyful opportunity to share in this unique celebration is that God’s Holy Spirit will fill all with a new spirit of love, faith and hope and bring all of us together in the new spirit of justice and peace for all humankind. May Christ our Good Shepherd bring safety and joy to all those who travel to be with Him and our Holy Father in Madrid, and may Mary our Mother watch over us and protect us as we strive to capture her spirit of total surrender to our God and God’s plan for the world.
Sincerely in Christ and Mary,
+Bishop Mike, OMI
Most Reverend Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI,
Bishop of San Angelo, Texas, USA