"Ad limina visit": we are all here!


It was a long day. Most of the bishops flew last night from Johannesburg. Half arrived in the morning and half... suffered a delay in the connection to Rome and only arrived late afternoon. Everyone was happy to see each other again but also tired after the long flight (keeping in mind we had just finished our Easter celebrations in our dioceses).

Of the main things, of course, was that everyone arrived safely and no luggage was lost. We are 27 bishops, one bishop-elect (the new bishop of Port Elizabeth), the administrator of the diocese of Port Elizabeth and our Secretary General: Sr Hermenegild Makoro CPS.

We come from three different countries: Botswana (2), South Africa (27), Swaziland (1).

Rome looks crowded with people who are coming for the canonisation of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II next Sunday.

Sr Hermenegild (our secretary general), archbishop Brislin (president of the SACBC) and myself met in the afternoon to update each other on some changes in the appointments we will be having in the coming days. One of them is that we won't be meeting Pope Francis in three groups as planned but in two groups next Thursday and Friday.

After supper we all met to have a quick look at the program and tomorrow's appointments. It was a challenge to meet in the evening as everyone needed to go to rest early but no one was missing and everyone made sure we would not stay longer than necessary. Most of all, everyone was grateful for all the preparation done in the last six months.

Together with the meeting with Pope Francis, these coming days include the celebration of the Mass in three of the basilicas (St Peter's, St Paul's and Santa Maria Maggiore) and twenty meetings with different offices of the Holy See (Vatican).

Once this evening's meeting was over... a lovely walk in the evening for a visit to St Peter's. 
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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