This July, with some six weeks notice, His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, graced he still had family in Wisconsin and would, most likely, be relatively near by from time to time. Through the generosity of a benefactor, we were able to accept his invitation to the events surrounding his elevation to the College of Cardinals in November of 2010. We were in Rome for the Consistory and Papal Mass at St. Peter’s, we attended receptions for the new Cardinal at the North American College and at the Renaissance palace where the Apostolic Signatura meets, and our priest-monks were privileged to concelebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving, along with a dozen or so bishops and about twenty other priests. We were awed and humbled to participate in such august assemblies.continue at Society of St. John's
His own visit here was considerably less intense. Arriving on a Monday afternoon, he joined us for Vespers and afterward shared dinner and light conversation with the monks. He celebrated Mass in the morning following our Divine Liturgy and then had a simple breakfast before a quick tour of the monastery. A long-time purchaser of jam for gifts at Christmas and Easter, he took a keen interest in the workings of the again operative Jampot kitchen and availed himself of a few items in the sales room. Above the escarpment we described the intended development of certain areas and showed him our young orchard; he spent a few moments fish-gazing at the pond and walked a short leg of the trail. Then, after an hour’s in-depth conversation with our priest- monks, it was time for him to leave and resume his busy summer schedule.
We are most grateful for His Eminence’s acceptance of our long-standing invitation. Though less than twenty-four hours in duration, we see it as the most significant event of what has been an eventful summer. In particular, we appreciated the opportunity to speak with him directly and with an openness not possible at the large ecclesial events that had occasioned our previous encounters. We continue to pray earnestly for Cardinal Burke’s health and well-being and for the success of his work in service of the Holy Father and in behalf of the Church.