On January 3, 1976, Paul VI promoted him to Archbishop of Wroclaw where he still remains today. On May 25, 1985 he was named to the Consistory by his fellow countryman Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Gulbinowicz received his red-hat and the titular church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary a Grottarosa. As cardinal he has been involved in various offices of the curia including the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Clergy and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. In addition he has used his life-long expertise in moral theology to write numerous works on molding and forming the clergy. During his twenty-three years as Archbishop of Wroclaw he has resided at ul. Katedralna 11, 50-328 Wroclaw in Poland.
Each Ordinary will make sure to promote among priests and lay faithful the sense that the diocese is the visible expression of the Church's communion, which is formed at the table of the Word and of the Eucharist, around the Bishop in union with the College of Bishops and under its head, the Roman Pontiff. As a particular Church, the diocese is charged with initiating and deepening the encounter of all the members of God's People with Jesus Christ, (119) respecting and fostering that plurality and diversivification which are not obstacles to unity but which give it the character of communion. (120) The spirit of participation and shared responsibility in the working of diocesan structures will certainly be strengthened if the nature of the particular Church is better known and appreciated. (121)
The experience of the Synod showed just as clearly the value of a communion transcending individual Conferences of Bishops. Even though structures for dialogue between Conferences already exist, the Synod Fathers underlined the benefit of inter-American gatherings, such as those sponsored by the Episcopal Conferences of various American countries, as an expression of practical solidarity and a chance to study common challenges to evangelization in America. (122) It would be helpful to specify more exactly the nature of these meetings, so that they may become a better expression of communion among all Bishops. Beyond these more inclusive meetings, it could be useful, whenever circumstances require it, to establish special commissions to explore more deeply issues which concern America as a whole. Areas in which it seems especially necessary “to strengthen cooperation are the sharing of information on pastoral matters, missionary collaboration, education, immigration and ecumenism”. (123)
The Bishops, whose duty it is to promote communion among the particular Churches, should encourage the faithful to live this communion more and more, and to assume the “responsibility of developing bonds of communion with the local Churches in other areas of America through education, the exchange of information, fraternal ties between parishes and dioceses, and projects involving cooperation and joint intervention in questions of greater importance, especially those affecting the poor”. (124)
In this spirit of communion, it is worth considering a few proposals of the Synod Fathers: namely, that — where necessary — mixed commissions charged with studying common pastoral problems be created in national Episcopal Conferences and in international agencies for cooperation among Bishops; that catechesis and theological formation for lay people and seminarians of the Latin Church include knowledge of the living tradition of the Christian East; that the Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches participate in the Latin Episcopal Conferences of the different countries. (125) This fraternal cooperation, while offering valuable help to the Eastern Churches of recent foundation in America, will certainly also enrich the particular Churches of the Latin rite with the spiritual heritage of the Eastern Christian tradition.
NEXT MONDAY: Installment thirteen - Chapter Four: The priesthood as a sign of unity
I understand that for a few days now, a week, perhaps, the Apostles have felt a deep interior need to fast and intensify their prayer. The Mother of God has joined them in their prayers and fast, and has encouraged when any spirit felt weakened by the demands of the flesh to persevere.
She alone among all those gathered knows that the Great Paraclete is coming, and that these followers of her Divine Son who still struggle so with their human frailties, shall soon find themselves filled with the Sanctifier, and their souls shall become true beacons of light as God intended for them. Thus does she doubles her prayers and fasting, joining it to her Son's Heart where the offering is wholly pleasing before the Throne of God.
I am given to understand that only shortly before this interior vision begins, the Apostles, led by their true head, Peter, have again fulfilled Our Lord's command. There have been psalms, prayers of praise, and petition, and then, just in the exact manner Jesus had done, Peter consecrates the bread and the wine and they have all received the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
There is a profoundly deep silence in the large room of the Last Supper, and the number crowded into this room is incredible. The holy women are not in this room, but in the room where the Apostles had concealed themselves in fear after the Passion of Our Lord. Other disciples are scattered throughout the house, filling the corridors; wherever a space can be found; a person of faith fills it.
And Our Lady allows me to understand that at this moment all who are gathered here are of one mind and heart through the graces bestowed upon them. They offer great praise to God, bless the name of Jesus with all their beings, call upon Him, and grow still to listen as He speaks to their souls. He comforts, consoles, and constantly strengthens.
So profoundly moved are all within the house that they are not immediately aware of the intense sound which has suddenly arisen and seems to be coming from outside.
I am taken in interior vision out of the house and held securely in our Blessed Mother's arms. I am able to hear this sound. I find no words to describe it. A mighty wind - yes! But O! so much more. If I were to describe the effects of all the thunderstorms I have experienced, and combined them into one sound, it would fall short of the true sound. It is Heaven descending to earth with a rush that could almost be called violent. The citizens of Jerusalem are not unaware of the sound.
I watch as many of them rush from their homes, poor, and rich alike. They shield their eyes from the hot sun and look up into a cloudless sky on a bright, sunny afternoon. The sun is intense and the heat suffocating, yet this wind is blowing their clothes. The women grab their veils to hold them on. This is, therefore, a "visible" sound that has no known origin, and the majority of the people are terrified. Most of them recall only too clearly the dreadful storm, earthquake, and other supernatural events of the day when Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.
The force of the wind can be felt but it does no harm as it gathers in intensity and gathers around the House where Our Blessed Mother and the Apostles are gathered.
Then I return to the interior of the Room, and standing beside our Blessed Mother, notice as the sound literally bursts into the dwelling, the shutters over the windows are blown open and brilliant daylight pours in. It is the entire dwelling that is filled with this wind which I describe, humbly, but feebly, as the very breath of God. It is magnificent. There is Power, Majesty, and tremendous Peace in Its sound, for as I watch the faces of the Apostles, I see that they lift their faces and gaze heavenward, transfixed as if this "Breath of God" spoke to each of them, lifting them from their mortal bodies into the celestial realm of God.
In this moment, I notice that the mighty rushing sound of wind has ceased, and now I see the entire room illuminated by a most glorious light. It is a dancing fire of orange and red, and to my eyes, it looks as if the whole room is afire.
But this tremendous fire separates and it forms what I see as the flames one would see upon a lighted candle. These flames separate and move, one settling above the upturned, transfixed face of each Apostle and of Our Blessed Mother. I am permitted to see that above her head is the largest flame, it seems to flow to her heart, and she herself becomes radiant. The flames dance above the apostles' heads and then with, again, the sound of a rushing wind, the flames penetrate the individual Apostles and they turn their eyes upward in a prayer of praise that they have never before uttered in such perfect harmony.
They are truly filled with the Holy Spirit. It is evident. It shines from their eyes, but its source is their hearts.
All at once, everyone begins to speak, or rather to pray, and each is totally unconscious of the other's prayer. O! The beauty of their prayer, for it is spoken not by mortal lips, but by the Holy Spirit. This prayer goes on for some time and its beauty increases all the while. How their souls are lifted up to God!
Then, as I watch, there comes a time of silence, in which I understand that each Apostle, disciple is being filled with courage, wisdom, knowledge, all that the Holy Spirit wishes to do for each and every soul, and which on this First Pentecost, it is with abundance that the Holy Spirit comes and gives.
This period of instruction is, I am given to understand, an instantaneous inpouring accepted, desired, and humbly received by all present.
Then, this moment of supernatural instruction completed, I find myself looking at transformed men. All the human fear has vanished, and has been replaced by a fire, a light in their eyes, which radiates beauty and Truth. These men are firm. All have become rocks and the foundation of Christ'' Church is firmly cemented. The roots of faith have grown deep, entwined in the Cross of Jesus. Their trust is absolute; their questioning minds have been silenced by the Truth placed in their hearts. Their love is purified, not yet perfected, but purified. These men are now the Apostles Jesus spoke to, loved, lived with, ate with, and died for, and they in turn are bound to Him in His Eternal Bond of Love.
The transformation I behold is so beautiful. O! Forgive me, God, for my poor ability to describe that which You, my God, so graciously permit me to see and understand in the intellect of my poor, miserable heart.
O! The Holy Spirit is Love, Fire, and Truth. Truly the Sanctifier, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity Whose work is always to bring all souls into perfect union with the Divine Will, by transforming each soul into the very image of Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Apostles whom stand before me are transformed. Or rather, the true transformation has begun and each one resembles more and more our Beloved Savior.
Love is the Fire, which propels them into action. It is Peter who proclaims in the name of all assembled that He Who Jesus promised to send has come, and they must do now what the Spirit of God directs them.
There is not one word spoken besides Peter's testimony, but led by the Spirit these holy men, putting on their mantles, make haste to depart this room, this house. They rush outside to face the world, not as mere men who face fellow men, but ambassadors of Jesus Christ. They are eager, unafraid, and when they pour out of the door into the street, the large crowd, which has gathered, is astounded! The Apostles, directed by the Spirit, go in many directions, and finding a stairwell, porch, or balcony, begins to speak. They tell all who hear, and there are thousands of the promise fulfilled by God in His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. To the ears of the people who are from many regions, the full story of the Good News is given. And because they speak not with the tongues of mortal men, but with the words of the Spirit, the people hear in their own language and their hearts are opened.
There is a cry, loud and clear, which rises from the assembled listeners. They want more, more of the life of this Jesus, and with the authority given them by Christ, the Apostles, with arms opened wide in an embrace of love, welcome them. These people are duly baptized and from the frightened but prayerful cenacle, the Church has blossomed, and new fruit is born. Fruit that throughout all ages shall continue and multiply until that time when a Second Pentecost shall come, casting away all division and bringing to unity the Mystical Body of God.
And throughout all the glory, which God has bestowed upon His people, the Mother of God keeps vigil in her silent prayer joined to her Son's Sacred Heart!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part two: Touched by the Spirit
Pope Saint Adrian III becomes the 109th successor of Peter. Little is known of this holy pontiff who died a year and a half later on his journey to San Cesario on his way to France at the invitation of Charles the Gross.
Frederick II Hohenstaufen is crowned King of Sicily at the tender age of four. His mother would turn him over as a ward of the Vatican court but he would come back to be a true thorn in the Holy See throughout his life as well as his son Conrad and grandson Conradin the last of the Hohenstaufen line.
Death of Saint Pascal Baylon, a Franciscan Lay Brother who was purported to have supernatural gifts. He is the patron saint of Eucharistic confraternities and congresses.