Friday, June 01, 2007

To the Pope and to the World

USA Today has taken notice of a priest many of us have been aware of for a long time. Fr. Raneiro Cantalamessa, who has been preacher to the Papal household for 27 years, was in the United States last weekend for the commencement of Notre Dame University. In addition to preaching retreats, the papal preacher also delivers the homily at the Good Friday liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica.

You can read the complete article here.
The most faithful of priests might be brought to their knees by the idea of preaching to the pope.

Imagine being assigned to give Caruso some tips on how to carry a tune or Babe Ruth some pointers on hitting homers.

But the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, 72, a Capuchin friar, seems unfazed by his task. Since 1980, he has served as "preacher to the papal household." He offers weekly sermons to the pope and his top aides during the religious seasons of Advent and Lent.

Asked if he feels pressure to produce words of brilliance or a message of unprecedented insight, Cantalamessa smiles.

"No, no, not really," he says. "It is a grace. It is a blessing. I am not promoting a message of mine. It is the message of Jesus."

There is a notable mistake in the article where Fr. Cantalamessa is called the pope's liturgist. That is a title which still belongs to Archbishop Piero Marini.

Pope Benedict XVI, who would sit in the front row for Cantalamessa's sermons when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, chose to retain him as his personal liturgist.

One great resource is Fr. Cantalamessa's website where his homilies are archived.


Matthew Kelley said...

wow. preaching to the pope. impressive.

Domini Sumus said...

I wouldn't want that reponsibility.