address of john-paul II

Visit to the Cathedral of Évry, address of John-Paul II, August 22, 1997 (the passages in italics were added by the Holy Father in relation to the official text).

Dear Brother Bishops, Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the name of the Risen Lord I cordially greet you. I thank the Pastor of this Diocese for welcoming me, along with you, with all of you, present in this Cathedral of the Resurrection, modern cathedral, it is easy to see. And after Our Lady this morning, we see that centuries and styles are superimposed. I am glad to greet in a special way the representatives of the other Christian communities and of other religious traditions who have wished to join the Catholics of l'Essonne here today (this afternoon). I also thank the civil authorities of the city and the département who are taking part in this ceremony.

Brothers and Sisters, you have erected this stunning building. You have created an admirable space for the liturgical assembly of the diocesan Church. I thank the Lord with you and I share your recognition towards your pastors and towards the architects, builders and benefactors who have united efforts to raise such a sign in the heart of the New City of Évry: the house of God and the house of man. This is an act of hope, a testimony to the vitality of a community which has rightly endeavoured to express itself in the language of these times, at the approach of the new Millennium.

As the Successor of Peter, I come to confirm you in your faith, in communion with the universal Church, as attested to by the bonds which unite you with the Diocese of Munich (München) under the patronage of Saint Corbinian. Each particular Church fulfils its part in the mission which Christ entrusted to all of his disciples, each one according to his vocation and state in life. And so, I wish to express my heartfelt encouragement to the priests, the deacons, the men and women religious, and the lay leaders who in different ways work at the service of the diocesan community.

You will be the true builders of the Church, the spiritual temple, if you bring the Good News to all nations, if you engage in dialogue with your brothers and sisters of different backgrounds and different cultures, if you welcome those scarred by life, the poor, the sick, the handicapped, those in prison. All are called to be the living stones of the edifice in which Christ is the cornerstone. And these representatives of the different races, we see them in the city. We see Africans, Asians, a bit of everyone from everywhere. A good accompaniment of the World Youth Day. There they are also of all races, all nations, all languages, but they speak the same language, thanks to God.

Brothers and Sisters, you will give life to this Cathedral, just as to all the churches of this Diocese, if you come together there to acknowledge the presence of the Risen Christ. He is present in the Eucharist and all the sacraments, present in his Word, present in the assembled community.

To Him, the Living One, He who is, who was, and is to come, I entrust your diocesan Church. May he grant you a strong faith and a generous love. May he enable you to bring up your children in the faith. May he raise up vocations among you to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, vocations which are indispensable for the life of the community. And I must say that I pray for it every morning for vocations.

For each one of the faithful of the Diocese, for all the inhabitants of l'Essone, for the future of this Diocese, I invoke the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary and of the Saints of your region, Saints who are numerous.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Since today, we have a new blessed: Frederic Ozanam.

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