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Archbishop Wenski, ready to lead the Catholic Church in Miami

Archbishop Thomas Wenski visited the Eternal City to receive the pallium from the pope, a sign of the authority they share. And what he calls a symbol of their closeness and a pledge to be obedient to his teaching.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski was installed as the fourth archbishop of Miami on June 1 of this year. The archbishop grew up in South Florida but spent the last seven years in Orlando. He says the dioceses are similar but that Miami presents some unique challenges because Miami is the “crossroads of the Americas”.

Archbishop Thomas WenskiArchdiocese of Miami (US) ;“As a Church we have to make sure that these newcomers feel at home in the Church, that they recognize the Church as their mother and that also we minister to them, respectful of their culture and their own pastoral needs.”

The archbishop is fluent in English, Spanish and Creole and hopes that will help him carry out his motto, taken from the Apostle Paul, “All things to everyone”. He says he needs to represent the nations of the world as he will serve 1.3 million Catholics.

Archbishop Thomas WenskiArchdiocese of Miami (US)“So I have to try to do them a Cuban among the Cubans, a Haitian among the Haitians, etcetera, so the Church is not perceived by any one group or person as somehow foreign to them. Because the Gospel can take route in the good soil of any culture of any language group.”

He says he is ready to listen and learn and to make the Church more effective in its solidarity with neighbors. But he said he did not imagine being in this position.

Archbishop Thomas WenskiArchdiocese of Miami (US) ;“When I was ordained a priest some 34 years ago it was to be a simple parish priest, and I thought that was what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life. Now I am a bishop and now an archbishop and its again very humbling to consider that despite my shortcomings and weaknesses the Holy Father had the confidence he did have in me to call me to this position.”

Archbishop Wenski says he prays he won?t disappoint the pope with his service, but with the outpouring of support he has received that seems unlikely.

ISAAArchdiocese of MiamiWP