DAILY CATHOLIC    CHRISTMAS-NEW YEAR'S ISSUE     December 24, 1999 - January 2, 2000     vol. 10, no. 245


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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.

139.   Cardinal Hyacinthe Thiandoum

        The Archbishop of Dakar in the Senegal is Cardinal Hyacinthe Thiandoum who was born on February 2, 1921 into a very devout Catholic family in Poponguine, Senegal in the Archdiocese of Dakar in Senegal, Africa. Because of his pious upbringing a vocation was nurtured and as a young teen he entered the minor seminar for the Dakar diocese and became a priest there on April 18, 1949. After ordination he was sent to Rome to continue his studies, obtaining his degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the Gregorian in the eternal city. In 1953 he returned home where his pastor assigned him to pastoral work at the Cathedral in Dakar. Through his work with the people he also became the leader for Catholic Action in Senegal. On February 24, 1962 Pope John XXIII named him Archbishop of Dakar. He was ordained and installed on May 20, 1962. He has remained as head of this see for 37 years in nurturing the faith in this western-most city and area of Africa on the Atlantic coast.

        No sooner did he become archbishop than he was on his way back to Rome later that year for the Second Vatican Council, working closely with the committees on liturgical reform. Returning to Senegal he implemented many of the reforms and, because he was in on the ground floor, he was able to instill the right reforms as the Council Fathers directed, keeping the liberal element out of Senegal. It was important for this struggling country where the Faith was first brought in 1460 by Portuguese missionaries and explorers and then further proselytized by Jesuits and Capuchins in the 1700 and 1800's. A vicariate had first been established by Pope Pius VI who placed the Holy Ghost Fathers in charge in 1779. In 1863 the Senegambia vicariate was established and in 1955 Pope Pius XII instituted the hierarchy with the See of Dakar. The Christian population is only 9% in this heavily populated Muslim nation but there are still over 400,000 Catholics in Senegal, increasing incredibly during Cardinal Thiandoum's nearly four decades as shepherd of Dakar.

        Archbishop Thiandoum was included in the Consistory of May 24, 1976 by Pope Paul VI. Cardinal Thiandoum received the titular church of Santa Maria del Popolo. He is one of the few remaining from Paul VI's reign. At 78 he is still going strong with active curial membership in the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as well as the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He resides at the bishop's residence in Dakar at B.P. 1908, Villa Les Badamiers, Dakar-FAnn, Senegal.

December 24, 1999 - January 2, 2000       volume 10, no. 245


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