VATICAN CITY, MAR. 19, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II celebrated the feast of St. Joseph today by ordaining nine bishops in St. Peter's Basilica.
"The bishop carries out a task in the Christian community, which has many similarities with St. Joseph's," the Pope said. Pastors must be, like the Nazareth carpenter, "fathers and custodians," the Holy Father explained.
"To them is entrusted the daily care of the Christian people who, thanks to their help, can go forward with security on the way to Christian perfection," he explained during the homily.
The bishops reflected a small mosaic of the universal Church. Prostrated on the ground near the central altar, to pray for the intercession of the saints, were the apostolic nuncios of Iraq and Jordan (Archbishop Fernando Filoni), Slovakia (Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki), and the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (Archbishop Timothy Paul Andrew Broglio).
Others were pastors of mission territories, such as Bishop Tomasz Peta of Kazakhstan and the new auxiliary bishop of the Eparch of Mukacheve in Trans-Carpathia, Ukraine, Djura Dzudzar.
The Italian Church was represented by newly appointed Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Pompeii.
The rest are papal collaborators in the Roman Curia: Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences; Canadian Bishop Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; and Italian Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Before ending his homily, the Holy Father said: "If on occasions you meet with difficulties and obstacles, do not hesitate to suffer with Christ for the benefit of his Mystical Body, so that you can enjoy with him a beautiful Church, without stain or wrinkle, holy and immaculate."