February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25

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    Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

154.   Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams
    New Zealand's only cardinal is Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams who was born in Wellington, New Zealand on March 20, 1930. A fervent Catholic in his youth, he was president of the CYO Organization in New Zealand. His zeal led him to enroll in Holy Cross Seminary in his native country and from there to Rome where he received his degree in Theology from the Urban Pontifical College of Propaganda Fide. While in Rome he was ordained a priest by Pope John XXIII. From there he was sent to Ireland where he achieved his degree in Social Sciences. Returning to New Zealand he was assigned to various pastoral duties including missionary work in Western Samoa where he was Secretary of the Catholic Enquiry Center until 1976 when a dispute prevented him from remaining in Samoa-Apia. This resulted in the latter becoming an independent see in 1982 through the urging of Archbishop Williams.

    On December 20, 1979 Pope John Paul II decreed that he be ordained and installed Archbishop of Wellington, the see of his birth. Four years later he was named by the Holy Father to the cardinalate during his Consistory of February 2, 1983. He received the titular church of Jesus the Divine Teacher at Pineda Sacchetti. In 1995 he was also named Military Ordinary for all of New Zealand. In addition to his duties as Archbishop of New Zealand's capital, he also serves curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Since he will turn seventy in two months he is expected to finish out his episcopate as Archbishop of Wellington at least for the next five years and then retire where he currently resides at the Archbishop's House, P.0. 1937, Wellington 5015, New Zealand.


February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25

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