Bp Skylstad: Vibrancy of US Church inspiring

2012-04-27 Vatican Radio

Bishops from Region XII of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are in Rome this week for their regular visit ad limina apostolorum, “to the threshold of the Apostles”. During their visit, the Bishops meet with the various Congregations and Dicasteries, and finally with the Pope Benedict himself.

“Certainly the highlight of our visit here, was this morning. The bishops from the Archdiocese of Portland the met with the Holy Father for about half an hour.” Bishop William Skylstad, currently Apostolic Administrator of Baker, Oregon, is one of the Bishops who met with the Holy Father Thursday morning. A bishop for 35 years, and former head of the US Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Skylstad spoke to us about the significance of the ad limina visits. He said that, after the visit with the Pope, the visits with the offices of the Vatican are very important: “The second thing is the visit with the various Congregations… The discussion and dialogue in those visits with the various dicasteries I find very enriching and very helpful.”

As the leader of a largely rural local Church, Bishop Skylstad said he was encouraged by the enthusiasm of the faithful “What I find… in our small rural communities, is a vibrancy in the Church that I find very, very inspiring.”

Bishop Skylstad looked back to Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelium nuntiandi for as a guide for the new evangelisation: It was, he said, “a powerful invitation to evangelise, and, to me, that’s exciting. We’re going through such tremendous evolutionary change in our culture, and really in our world… I’m not sure we’ve even begun yet to plum all the potential ways of how we can evangelise in our modern day. But we need to do it! And we need to really be, I think, very much alert as to how we might address the invitation of Jesus to proclaim the Gospel to all the world. That I find exciting, and for us a great opportunity. But it demands much wisdom and skill, and spirituality that we all need.”

Listen to the full interview of Bishop William Skylstad with Christopher Wells: