My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This year will mark the first time that I have experienced an Ad Limina visit to Rome with my fellow Australian bishops. The last Ad Limina took place in 2011 and usually happens every five years. So, this visit is very overdue.
In the lead-up to each Ad Limina, every bishop must prepare and submit an extensive report for the Congregation of Bishops. Over the years, I have participated in the preparation of this report when I was vicar general of my previous diocese, but this will be the first time I have had to give an account of what is happening in the Diocese of Wollongong. This has its own complications as I am still “very green” in the diocese and so much of what has to be reported took place prior to my arrival in the diocese.
Most of the active bishops of Australia will be participating in the visit which takes place from 17–29 June 2019. We will begin with a five-day retreat outside of Rome. On 24 June, the Ad Limina will formally commence with an audience with Pope Francis (I have met the Holy Father once before when I attended the new bishops course last year.)
We will then visit the pontifical commissions, congregations and dicasteries that oversee the life of the Church. At the end of the week, Archbishop Peter Comensoli will receive, from the Holy Father, the Pallium which recognises him as the archbishop of Melbourne and metropolitan of Victoria.
Pleased be assured of my prayers for the diocese as I travel around the different churches in Rome, and I ask that you also pray for all the Australian bishops as we embark on this important journey.
Yours in Christ,
Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
BISHOP OF WOLLONGONG
Australia’s Catholic bishops will travel to Rome next week (June 2019) for their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit, culminating in prayer and Mass at the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul. Bishops conferences from around the world typically make the Ad Limina Apostolorum visit, translated as “To the threshold of the apostles” every five years.
However, with the change of Pope in 2013 and Ad Limina visits cancelled during the Year of Mercy (2015), the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has not made the visit since 2011.
The bishops will meet with the various departments of the Holy See in the interests of mutual understanding and collaboration. The discussions will revolve around the comprehensive reports (the Quinquennial Report) that each diocese has provided in preparation for the Ad Limina visit.