DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     May 21-23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 99


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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.

56.   Cardinal George Basil Hume, O.S.B.

          Having submitted his resignation to the Holy Father, Cardinal George Basil Hume, a Benedictine prelate who has been Archbishop of Westminster in England may not have much time to enjoy retirement for he announced a month ago that he is suffering from cancer in the advanced stages. He worte to the priests of his archdiocese that, "I have cancer, and it is not in its early stages. However, I have received two wonderful graces. First, I have been given time to prepare for a new future. Secondly, I find myself- uncharacteristically - calm and peace." It has been a full life and whenever the Good Lord chooses to take him home, the cardinal is ready.

          He was born in Newcastle-on-the-Tyne on March 2, 1923 in the Hexham Diocese of England. He came from a mixed marriage with his mother being French Catholic and his father a strict Anglican and well-known heart surgeon. He joined the Abbey of St. Lawrence at Ampleforth in 1941 and was ordained a Benedictine priest on July 23, 1950 after receiving his degree in Theology from Fribourg, Switzerland. After teaching for several years, he was appointed in 1963 Abbot of the Abbey where he studied as a seminarian. He held this post until being named Archbishop of Westminster on February 9, 1976, the first such honor for anyone from a monastic order to such a high position. This honor was followed up with an even higher honor when he was named in Pope Paul VI's Fifth Consistory of May 24, 1976. He received his red hat and the titular church of St. Silvestro in Capite.

          He has been Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal for twenty-three years. Over this time he as been active in various Curial offices including the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life along with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. We pray for Cardinal Basil that God will be merciful in these final days as he awaits His call to come home.

May 21-23, 1999       volume 10, no. 99


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