Cardinal Visits St. Peter's For First Time

  • 9/16/2019 2:51:31 PM
  • Seth Byrd
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH- Francis Cardinal Arinze became the first Catholic leader of his stature to visit St. Peter's Catholic Church. During his visit, he helped the church celebrate the Feast of Sts. Cyprian and Cornelius, at the regular 5:30 pm Mass on Monday evening. Although he is now retired, the Cardinal still maintains an active schedule throughout the year. 

Arinze was in North Central Ohio to speak at a seminar in Wickliffe, Ohio last Saturday, before making the trip down to the Mansfield Parish. 

Father Austin Ammanniti talked about what it meant for the parish to have a Cardinal preside over Monday night's Mass at Saint Peter's. 

"It's not every day that a Cardinal of the church comes to visit," said Ammanniti."It's a symbol of unity... unity with the whole church universal. I think it's very powerful. Cardinal Arinze is originally from Africa and worked in Rome for a time. He still lives in Rome but to come visit us in Mansfield, I think it's a symbol of unity with the whole church across the world."

Ammanniti said it was a great opportunity for him to be able to stand next to a Cardinal during the service. 

"You see him on TV and you think "Oh wow he is a Cardinal," but to see him right here and to be next to him and to watch him pray," said Ammanniti." You could tell it was not fake and not superficial. His prayer comes from the heart and that was very powerful for me to see."   

At the time of Arinze's consecration as a Bishop in 1965, he was the youngest Bishop in the world at age 32. He served as Archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria, and, in the course of the Nigerian Civil War, was forced to become a refugee. Arinze was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1985 and then served as Pro-President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. 

In 2002, Pope John Paul II named Cardinal Arinze head of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He held that position for six years, before resigning from that post in 2008. 






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