I'm feeling a little sad because I hate to see Archbishop Luigi Ventura leave Canada. What a blessing he has been not only to the Church here and to me. But I am also happy for him.
Salt and Light TV has put together some lovely tributes to him, and CEO Fr. Tom Rosica has also said far more eloquently all the things I would like to say, along with some wonderful videos and pictures.
Salt + Light Television Tribute to Archbishop Luigi Ventura
Apostolic Nuncio to Canada
This morning Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Luigi Ventura, current Nuncio to Canada, the Apostolic Nuncio to France. Archbishop Ventura has served as Apostolic Nuncio to Canada since September, 2001. Here is the tribute to Archbishop Ventura from Canada's Salt and Light Catholic Television Network.
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.,
CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Television Network, Canada Former National Director and CEO of World Youth Day 2002
Don Luigi, Mille Grazie e Arrivederci!
A Tribute to Archbishop Luigi Ventura
Apostolic Nuncio to Canada 2001-2009
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.
Since the most ancient of times, Popes have sent representatives who were known as Legates, to general and local councils of the Church. These Legates were chosen from among the members of the Roman Clergy or the Bishops of Italy, which depended directly from the Holy See. From the Eleventh century, these legations, because of their importance, were entrusted to Cardinals who were called Legates. The name ‘Nuncio’ (from the Latin “nuntius” meaning messenger or message), however, was given to prelates, generally Bishops, to whom were entrusted negotiations of a particular character.
Apostolic Nuncios are personal representatives of the Holy Father in each country. The complex and often unknown roles of Nuncios operate simultaneously on many levels, yet most often “behind the scenes”, with great discretion and humility.
First and foremost the Nuncio in a given country works closely with the local churches (dioceses) and the Conference of Bishops to foster communication between the Church in that country with the Holy Father and the many Vatican departments. Nuncios are living reminders of the universality of the Church.
Second, Nuncios serve as official representatives of the Holy See to the government of the country to which they are assigned. Third, Nuncios serve as the official links between the country in which they find themselves and the Holy See. Since their mission allows them to have a view of the whole, they are essential in determining the future directions of the Church in a given country.
Nuncios come and nuncios go. Most people never really get to know “a nuncio!” But that wasn’t the case with Archbishop Luigi Ventura, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada from 2001 to 2009. Arriving literally on the eve of September 11, 2001, he was hailed even before his coming to Canada as “the nuncio of the GMG- World Youth Day 2002.” And that he was!
Luigi Ventura was not just another Papal diplomat sent to us. It didn’t take him long to size up the Canadian Church and provide for its pastoral needs. One of the most important duties of a nuncio is to assist the Holy Father with the appointment of Bishops in a particular country. Archbishop Ventura did that job in a remarkable and admirable way, leaving his “mark” on the Church in this country for years to come. He traveled this country from sea to sea to sea, tirelessly bringing the good news of Jesus and the message of the Church from the “home office” on the Tiber to the most remote places of Canada. He reminded us in season and out of season of the bigger picture: the universality of the Church.
Crisscrossing our vast Canadian territory, he made distant friends and brought strangers close, making room in our land for the peace of Christ. He was a real “Pontifex”, a builder of bridges in a world and a country that too often erects solitudes, walls and divisions. He has been an extraordinary, gentle shepherd with a universal heart who conquered our vast country with his infectious smile, genuine goodness, pastoral wisdom, and common sense.
Go read the rest. Fr. Tom has much more about this special archbishop who has done so much good here. Go watch the videos at Salt and Light TV, too.