DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     August 25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 160


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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.

89.   Cardinal Silvio Oddi

          After over forty years in diplomatic service to the Holy See, Cardinal Silvio Oddi of Italy is now retired living at Via della Grazie 3 in Rome. This nearly 90 year-old cardinal priest was born in Morfasso, Italy near Piacenza on November 14, 1910 during the reign of Pope Saint Pius X. At only eleven he felt a calling to the priesthood and entered the Diocesan seminary in 1921. Twelve years later he was ordained in Rome on May 31, 1933. Within three years he had graduated cum laude with a degree in Canon Law from Angelicum and further studies at the Ecclesiastic Pontifical Academy gave him exposure within the ranks of the curia. One of those ranking cardinals was Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli who on March 3, 1939 became Pope Pius XII. Shortly after his elevation he appointed Father Oddi to the office of the Papal Nunciature to Iran, then to Lebanon where he remained until the Holy Father made him an Archbishop on July 30, 1953. He was installed on September 27 of that year and given the title of Titular Archbishop of Mesembria and made Apostolic Delegate first to Jerusalem, then Palestine, Jordan, and Cyprus. In 1957 an aging Pius XII transferred him to Egypt and the United Arab Republic to complete the rounds of the Holy Land. In 1962 Pope John XXIII appointed him Nuncio to Belgium-Luxumbourg where he remained for the next five years.

          On August 28, 1969 in Pope Paul VI's third Consistory he was honored for his loyalty to the Church with the cardinalate and the titular church of St. Agatha of the Goths. At the same time he was made the Papal Legate for the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. In 1979 Pope John Paul II elevated him to Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy which he headed until he officially retired in 1986. Since then he has slowed down but never neglecting his priestly vows and prayer life as he lives out what time God still has left for him in retirement praying for the Church he dearly loves.

August 25, 1999       volume 10, no. 160


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