We give thanks to God for the extraordinary leadership and example of holiness and wisdom which Pope Benedict XVI has provided for the Church during the past almost eight years of his Pontificate. He is a man of great spiritual insight fed by a life of intense prayer. It was a privilege for me to have met him on his visit to our country in the spring of 2008 as well as most recently in May of 2012 on the Ad Limina visit to Rome. His holiness, gentleness and humility were so evident and made me feel immediately at ease with him.
While the announcement of the Pope’s resignation was a surprise, it is much in keeping with his primary desire to serve the Church of which he has always seen himself as an instrument. We wish we could have had him as shepherd longer, but guided by the Holy Spirit, he knows what is best. I have no doubt he will continue to serve the Church after his resignation in a life fully devoted to prayer. I hope he continues to write and share his spiritual reflections with us. Let us continue to pray for him as well as for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as the Cardinals elect his successor and we are again reminded it is the Lord who guides the Church.