Registration opens today for the March 12 visit to campus of Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Cardinal Sarah was born in what was French Guinea and lived through that African country’s transition to independence. He also endured the intense personal enmity of a dictator whose regime was hostile to the Church. Through all of this, Cardinal Sarah served as an inspiring and courageous leader of the faithful, showing a particular devotion to the poor and weak.
In recent years, St. Mike’s has been fortunate to host visits from Cardinals Turkson (Ghana), Müller (Germany) and Zen (Hong Kong). Each shared with us something constant and unchanging, the faith of a universal Church, but each also brought to us something distinctively local in terms of background and experience. The College of Cardinals is a truly global community, a gift that imparts a rare breadth and depth to its deliberations.
We can expect something similar from Cardinal Sarah, who has much to say about surviving within a secular society that is, as he knows so well, at best indifferent and at worst violently opposed to the Church. This direct experience of challenge and tribulation has informed his thinking about the centrality of liturgy and sacrament on our pilgrim journey, and of the need to find space and time for the riches of tradition in this modern age.
St. Mike’s is at its best when it offers a platform for the distinctive voices that secular society most needs to hear. We will be at our best on March 12.