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Pope And Roman Curia Begin Week-Long Spiritual Retreat


Spiritual exercises on the retreat were led by the former head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria.  He preached on the theme of "The Priest Meets Jesus and Follows Him."

Cardinal Arinze said that the priest plays a more important role in the daily lives of his flock than the local bishop or even the Pope.   

Card. Francis Arinze
Prefect Emeritus, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
If every priest is full of faith, full of love, and manifestations of faith and love which we can call devotion, our Sunday celebration will become what it can become.  And that will be the beginning of a spiritual renewal both in the priest and in the parish.  

The days of retreat followed the rhythm of the Liturgy of the Hours and also included three meditations.  Participants at the retreat celebrated the Eucharistic adoration and benediction every evening.

Cardinal Arinze says that the liturgy is of central importance to the life and purpose of the Catholic Church.   

Card. Francis Arinze
Prefect Emeritus, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Liturgy is important because that is the prayer life of the Church.  The Church prays, Christ leads the Church in prayer.  If the Church no longer offered worship to God, then the Church would have no life anymore.  The Church would have ended up in the Vatican Museum.  

Arinze’s selection is very symbolic because of two high-profile Africa events on the Vatican’s calendar this year: Benedict XVI’s first trip to the African continent, and a special Synod of Bishops scheduled to meet in Rome in October.