DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     July 30 - August 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 142


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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.

81.   Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, O.S.B.

          The Benedictine Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, along with Cardinal Alois Grillmeier are the "old guard" of the German cardinals. Both are now retired and Cardinal Mayer, at the age of 88 resides in Rome at Via Rusticucci 13 after dedicated service in the Roman Curia for many years.

          He was born on May 23, 1911 in Altotting, Germany and entered the Benedictine seminary where he went on to study Philosophy in Salzburg, Austria and later Theology in Rome at Sant'Anselmo. He was ordained on August 25, 1935 in Rome. Taking refuge in Rome from the Third Reich, obtained his doctorate and then was assigned to teach in 1939 at his alma mater at Sant'Anselmo where he was a member of the faculty for 27 years including being promoted to Rector. In the early sixties, Pope John XXIII appointed him Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for Vatican II and after the Pontiff's death, Pope Paul VI kept him on in preparation for reconvening the Second Vatican Council. At the conclusion of Vatican II, Paul VI made him the Ecclesiastical Delegate to the Focolare Movement and a year later he was named Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery in Metten, Germany. It was the first time he had returned to his homeland on assignment since before World War II, but it would be shortlived for five years later he bid goodbye to his fellow monks to return to the eternal city to accept the position of Secretary of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes and become the titular bishop of Satriano with the personal title of Archbishop on January 6, 1972.

          He remained as Secretary until 1984 when Pope John Paul II elevated him to Pro-prefect of the same Congregation in 1984. A year later he was honored with the cardinalate as a cardinal-deacon during the Holy Father's Consistory of May 25, 1985, receiving the titular church of St. Anselm. At the same time he was promoted to Prefect of the same Congregation which he had been with for 13 years. Three years later the Pope transfered him to the post of President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" which he held until 1991 when he retired in 1991 at the age of 80, having loyally served the Church for 64 years as a priest of God.

July 30 - August 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 142


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