DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     June 18-20, 1999     vol. 10, no. 118


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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, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

67.   Cardinal Bernard F. Law

          Cardinal Bernard F. Law is well traveled. He was born in Mexico, studied on the east coast and the west coast and began his bishopric in the heart of America. Today he is the Archbishop of Boston. The son of a United States Air Force Colonel, he was born on November 4, 1931 in Torreon, Mexico. After receiving his degree from Harvard, he realized a calling to the priesthood and traveled all the way across the country to enroll at St. Joseph's Seminary in Los Angeles. In 1955 he transfered his studies to the Josephinum Pontifical College in Columbus, Ohio and he was ordained on May 31, 1961 in Mississippi in the Jackson-Natchez Diocese where he became director of the Diocesan paper there. In 1968 he was appointed Executive Director for the Council of Bishops for Ecumenical Affairs even though he was not yet a bishop. That came on October 22, 1973 when Pope Paul VI named him Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, a diocese that covered all of southern Missouri in the foothills of the Ozarks. He was installed on December 5, 1973.

          Two years later, with the cooperation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Bishop Law invited the Vietnamese Order of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix to establish a central seminary in America at Our Lady of the Ozarks in Carthage, Missouri. The Oblates, through the direction of Father Edwin Goetz, OMI and the Central Provincial Father William Coovert, OMI, gave their thirty-acre property on the south side of Carthage to the Vietnamese priests who had fled persecution in their country. Under Bishop Law's guidance, they firmly established themselves in the old Civil War town east of Joplin. In fact, Bishop Law ordained twelve of the seminarians over the years and provided assistance for the Congregation to establish Marian Days around the Solemnity of the Assumption every summer when tens of thousands Vietnamese from all over the US would migrate to Carthage and camp out for a special three day celebration of Our Lady and to acknowledge the founder of the Order. He also approved of a Christmas light extravaganza each year that has become a regular tourist attraction in southwest Missouri.

          The people in the foothill of the Ozarks were despondent when he left Springfield-Cape-Girardeau but happy for him for Pope John Paul II elevated him to Archbishop of Boston on January 11, 1984 and a year later bestowed the honor of the cardinalate on him in his Consistory of May 25, 1985. Cardinal Law received his red-hat and the titular church of St. Susanna as a cardinal priest. He has remained very active in the NCCB and the Roman Curia where he holds membership in the Congregation of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Congregation for Catholic Education plus the Pontifical Council for Culture. He resides at 2101 Commonwealth Avenue, in Brighton, Massachusetts just outside of Boston proper. Now sixty-eight, he is not one of those Americans who would be considered as papal material because of his age and limited experience internationally, but he has been a strong pro-life force in the United States.

June 18-20, 1999       volume 10, no. 118


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