Report from Rome

May 4, 2014

Sisters and brothers, it was an honor and a privilege to be in Rome for the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday. Both men in their own special way served Christ and his Church with zeal, dedication and love. The joy of celebrating their sainthood was intense in Rome, but no less so here in Galveston-Houston, where Bishop Sheltz celebrated a special Mass at the Co-Cathedral. May all of us continue to be inspired by Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint John Paul II, together with all the saints, and so be drawn always closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

My time in Rome extended to a second week. The Holy Father recently appointed me -- and other Cardinals and lay people -- to a new board called the Pontifical Council for the Economy, which met in Rome for the first time after the canonizations. Pope Francis created it to review and streamline administration in the Vatican, and also improve oversight and the reporting of Vatican finances.

We are still in the early stages, but it is clear that Pope Francis takes seriously the importance of good management and stewardship of funds. We certainly share these goals in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and are always mindful of your generosity and sacred trust. I am humbled to be a part of this Pontifical Council and I ask for your prayers as we move forward, both at the Vatican and here in our Archdiocese.