Course for new Bishops concludes, a 'wonderful' occasion of unity
By Vatican News staff writer
Since the beginning of September recently ordained bishops from around the world have been meeting in Rome to take part in the "Formation Course for New Bishops."
Preaching the Gospel today
Promoted by the Dicastery for Bishops together with the Dicastery for Eastern Churches, the annual course has as its theme the service of the bishop in proclaiming the Gospel in the changing epoch following the pandemic.
The tradition of holding the formation course started in 2000 by St. Pope John Paul II. Following an interruption of the course held in person Rome due to the pandemic, this year saw a total of 344 bishops coming to Rome, requiring the course to be held in two sessions to accommodate the large numbers. The first session ran the first week of September and the second session from September 12 until today, culminating in a papal audience.
Fraternity and fellowship
Bishop Larry Kulick of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania in the United States, participated in the second session. He spoke to Vatican News about the great sense of fraternity among the bishops, their support for each other, united in diversity. Describing it as a "wonderful opportunity," Bishop Kulick appreciated the sense of fraternity among the bishops hailing from all over the world, saying the experience gave everyone a "great sense of feeling supported and being in this ministry together."
The discussions, also in small groups, helped him see also the common challenges they face in their ministry of service to the people of God. While each local reality is very unique and often quite different from his own, he said they are united in their mission and can learn from and help each other, "because we have so many common needs that the Church is trying to respond to."
Bishop Kulick also gained insight from the presentations given by heads of the various Vatican offices, or dicasteries, on how they work and can be of service to them.