November 1, 2013
|His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, receives cheers and a long standing ovation following his keynote presentation. Pictured from left right: Sister Nancy Miller, OSB, Prioress of Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery; Cardinal Dolan; Most Reverend Bishop David Kagan, Diocese of Bismarck; Monsignor James Shea, president of the University of Mary|
|Cardinal Dolan gives his keynote address to an audience of over 6,000 people at the Diocese of Bismarck THIRST Conference inside the Civic Center|
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, focused on the examples of Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I in his keynote address to the Eucharistic Congress held in the Bismarck Civic Center Oct. 26, 2013, sponsored by the University of Mary in Bismarck.
"Go Teach All Nations: Passing the Treasure of Faith on to the Next Generation" was the theme of his presentation, which explored the three themes of "soul, mind and heart."
"Anything that lives and dreams and dares to grow … needs a soul, a mind, and a heart," he said.
The three most recent Popes exemplify those qualities, he said. Pope John Paul II's first words to the crowds upon his election in 1978 were "do not be afraid," the Cardinal said.
This Pope had the confidence and fortitude that came from the soul, "through the centrality of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," he said. Called by President Jimmy Carter "the soul of the world, and by evangelist Billy Graham, "the prescription for humanity's exhausted soul," Pope John Paul II "led us in the recovery of the spiritual," Cardinal Dolan said.
"He himself was a mystic," the Cardinal said, which probably came from "the high-octane Catholicism of Polish culture." Having lost everything of earthly value – the freedom of his home country, the deaths of his parents and siblings, some of his friends to the Nazis, and again, following World War II, his country to Communism, Pope John Paul II believed "only in God is my soul at rest."
But he exuded a confidence, the Cardinal said, that "our value is not from what we've got, but who we are." His papacy included a historic visit to his homeland of Poland, which has been called "nine days that changed the world, the beginning of the end of the Communist empire."
And toward the end of his life, physically weakened by a would-be assassin's bullet, cancer and Parkinson's disease, he had the courage to "allow us to watch him die," Cardinal Dolan said.
Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated the importance of the mind, the intellect – in clear, cogent language showing that reason and faith are not enemies, "but pretty darn good friends," the Cardinal said. In a world of the new atheism, "a new secular culture on steroids, reason in partnership with revelation and faith is liberating,"
Cardinal Dolan said. The Church is the engine of genuine progress, he said, a progress that "says yes to everything that is good in the human spirit and only says no (to that which) negates human dignity."
There is, the Cardinal said, an "interior ecology. Within nature is God's design that we tamper with that at our peril. "When we learn the ‘is' of human existence, that gives rise to an ‘ought,' he said. "Reason gives rise to informed ethnical decisions."
From the first moments of the new Pope Francis's election, Cardinal Dolan said, "we knew we have a Pope with a heart." After changing into his white cassock, his first action was to go down to greet the two Cardinals who were in wheelchairs, he said.
His next was to greet first the huge crowds gathered outside, because it was raining and the new Pope didn't want to keep people waiting in the rain, "simple, ordinary courtesy that is extraordinary," Cardinal Dolan said.
Pope Francis, he said, has a heart that breaks, a heart that has radar for those at the side of the road. The new Pope, he said, "has a heart that's willing to risk and to dare, who speaks with tenderness."
"We cannot be afraid of tenderness," Pope Francis has said. He is the warmth, the love, the heart of the church, the Cardinal said. Concluding, Cardinal Dolan said that the Eucharistic Congress, with its theme of "thirst," demonstrates its solidarity with those that are thirsty and hungry.
And the University of Mary, he related to what Pope Benedict taught us with the mind. Cardinal Dolan called it a place where God's glory is certainly evident, a place of learning and prayer and friendship and service and hospitality. The university, he said, is a place for the examination of life's possibilities, where reason and faith are allied.
"The mind can grow only when the soul is alive," the Cardinal said. "Monsignor Shea is a former student of mine and am I proud of your leadership in concert with our beloved Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation. [You have] a sterling faculty, dedicated and generous alum and students that are so fervent in the faith and learning in soul, mind and heart. I think Pope Benedict XVI would be extraordinarily proud because here in the Diocese of Bismarck we've got a university dedicated to Mary where reason and faith are allied. Congratulations University of Mary. Keep up the good work. I am honored to be in your company."
Cardinal Dolan personally applauded the folks in the great state of North Dakota for having the heart that the current Holy Father is trying to restore in the world. "You have given a sterling light to the world in the tenderness in the heart that you have for the least among us, namely the baby in the womb. North Dakota, thank you, for your heart which breaks for the fragile heartbeat of the baby in the womb. You've restored the heart to that noble pro life cause."