Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,
We all have a special connection to Pope Benedict XVI, and with you I lifted up my heart as the Holy Father took off from St. Peter's this afternoon at 5 p.m. Rome time (Feb. 28). I have been in Rome for a series of long-scheduled meetings, and I was in the Square as the Pope departed today. The Square was nearly full, and much of the time you could almost have heard a pin drop.
But it is a matter of firm faith that all will be well. The Pope established us with an apostolic constitution to give us stability and permanence. And the reception that I have received from the several congregations I have visited has been warm and encouraging. It has also been a joy to be with members of the U.K. Ordinariate also. Msgr. Newton and I sat together at the General Audience yesterday, and we were able to celebrate the Eucharist this morning with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in St. Peter's this morning.
Our mission is to bring many souls to full communion in the Catholic Church. That is the message I have consistently been given. Our commission is simply the Great Commission.
May God bless you all!
Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson