ADDRESS OF HIS BEATITUDE LOUIS RAPHAËL I SAKO, PATRIARCH OF BABYLON OF THE CHALDEANS

ADDRESS OF HIS BEATITUDE LOUIS RAPHAËL I SAKO, PATRIARCH OF BABYLON OF THE CHALDEANS

Holiness,

In my name and that of my new brother Cardinals, I think your Holiness for the trust placed in us and for having called us to serve with an ever greater love the Church and all men.

This naming of cardinals from diverse countries expresses the vitality and the opening of the Catholic Church and concretizes her catholicity – her universality – in service to all men,

His Beatitude Sako (CNS photo)

A number of Muslims have come to give me their best wishes, and they expressed their admiration for the opening of the Church and for your always being close to people in their concerns, fears and hopes.

As far as I am concerned, I am the recipient of your special attention for the Eastern Churches and for the small flock at constitutes the Christians in the Middle East, in Pakistan and in other countries that are going through a difficult period because of wars and sectarianism and where there are still many martyrs. We pray and hope that your efforts to promote peace will change the hearts of men and women for the better and will contribute to assuring a dignified atmosphere for every person.

These nominations on the day of Pentecost did not come by chance. We are called to commit to announcing and expressing more deeply the faith that responds to the needs of the current time and the future, and it impels us to an ever greater service more attentive to the people of God entrusted to us and it asks us to have ever broader horizons.

Naming one to the cardinalate is not a prize or a personal honor, as is sometimes thought but rather it is sending us into mission with a red habit (indicating) that we will give our life to the very end, even to the shedding of blood, bringing “Evangelii gaudium” –the gospel of joy – to everyone.

Your paternal call for us is an encouragement in our sufferings and gives us the hope that the actual storm will pass, and it will be possible to live together harmoniously. I firmly believe in the fullness of love, right to the very end. This blood of the martyrs has not been shed for nothing, Holiness!

We assure you of our support and an even more intense collaboration in promoting a culture of dialogue, of respect and peace everywhere and in particular where there is need such as in Iraq, the land of Abraham, in Syria, in Palestine and in the Middle East and throughout the world. We are aware of the risks and the challenges that we must face but our faith in the Lord gives us the courage to continue to hope for a better future for everyone.

Today in your presence we wish to renew our fidelity, the love of the church and our people with the promise that we will do our best to be joyful witnesses of our faith, our love, freely given, of pardon, and building peace in a world that lives in indifference, consumerism and in conflicts of power and interest.

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POPE FRANCIS TO NEW CARDINALS: THE GREATEST PROMOTION THAT CAN BE AWARDED US: TO SERVE CHRIST IN GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE

POPE FRANCIS TO NEW CARDINALS: THE GREATEST PROMOTION THAT CAN BE AWARDED US: TO SERVE CHRIST IN GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE

“They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them” (Mk 10:32). [1]

The beginning of this typical passage in Mark always helps us realize how the Lord cares for his people with a pedagogy all his own. Journeying to Jerusalem, Jesus is careful to walk ahead of his disciples.

Jerusalem represents the defining and decisive moment of his life. All of us know that at important and crucial times in life, the heart can speak and reveal the intentions and tensions within us. These turning points in life challenge us; they bring out questions and desires not always evident to our human hearts. This is what is presented, with great simplicity and realism, in the Gospel passage we have just heard. At the third and most troubling announcement of the Lord’s passion, the Evangelist does not shrink from disclosing secrets present in the hearts of the disciples: their quest of honours, jealousy, envy, intrigue, accommodation and compromise. This kind of thinking not only wears and eats away at their relationship, but also imprisons them in useless and petty discussions. Yet Jesus is not concerned with this: he walks ahead of them and he keeps going. And he tells them forcefully: “But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Mk 10:43). In this way, the Lord tries to refocus the eyes and hearts of his disciples, so that there will be no fruitless and self-referential discussions in the community. What does it profit us to gain the whole world if we are corroded within? What does it profit us to gain the whole world if we are living in a stifling atmosphere of intrigues that dry up our hearts and impede our mission? Here, as someone has observed, we might think of all those palace intrigues that take place, even in curial offices.

“But it shall not be so among you”. The Lord’s response is above all an encouragement and a challenge to his disciples to recoup their better part, lest their hearts be spoiled and imprisoned by a worldly mentality blind to what is really important. “But it shall not be so among you”. The voice of the Lord saves the community from undue introspection and directs its vision, resources, aspirations and heart to the only thing that counts: the mission.

Jesus teaches us that conversion, change of heart and Church reform is and ever shall be in a missionary key, which demands an end to looking out for and protecting our own interests, in order to look out for and protect those of the Father. Conversion from our sins and from selfishness will never be an end in itself, but is always a means of growing in fidelity and willingness to embrace the mission. At the moment of truth, especially when we see the distress of our brothers and sisters, we will be completely prepared to accompany and embrace them, one and all. In this way, we avoid becoming effective “roadblocks”, whether because of our short-sightedness[2] or our useless wrangling about who is most important. When we forget the mission, when we lose sight of the real faces of our brothers and sisters, our life gets locked up in the pursuit of our own interests and securities. Resentment then begins to grow, together with sadness and revulsion. Gradually we have less and less room for others, for the Church community, for the poor, for hearing the Lord’s voice. Joy fades and the heart withers (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 2).

“But it shall not be so among you”. Jesus goes on to say. “Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all” (Mk 10:43.44). This is the Beatitude and the Magnificat that we are called to sing daily. It is the Lord’s invitation not to forget that the Church’s authority grows with this ability to defend the dignity of others, to anoint them and to heal their wounds and their frequently dashed hopes. It means remembering that we are here because we have been asked “to preach good news to the poor…to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19).

Dear brother Cardinals and new Cardinals! In our journey towards Jerusalem, the Lord walks ahead of us, to keep reminding us that the only credible form of authority is born of sitting at the feet of others in order to serve Christ. It is the authority that comes from never forgetting that Jesus, before bowing his head on the cross, did not hesitate to bow down and wash the feet of the disciples. This is the highest honour that we can receive, the greatest promotion that can be awarded us: to serve Christ in God’s faithful people. In those who are hungry, neglected, imprisoned, sick, suffering, addicted to drugs, cast aside. In real people, each with his or her own life story and experiences, hopes and disappointments, hurts and wounds. Only in this way, can the authority of the Shepherd have the flavour of Gospel and not appear as “a noisy gong or a clanging symbol” (1 Cor 13:1). None of us must feel “superior” to anyone. None of us should look down at others from above. The only time we can look at a person in this way is when we are helping them to stand up.

I would like now to share with you a part of the spiritual testament of Saint John XXIII. Progressing in his own journey, he could say: “Born poor, but of humble and respectable folk, I am particularly happy to die poor, having distributed, in accordance with the various needs and circumstances of my simple and modest life in the service of the poor and of Holy Church which has nurtured me, whatever came into my hands – and it was very little – during the years of my priesthood and episcopate. Appearances of wealth have frequently disguised thorns of frustrating poverty, which prevented me from giving to others as generously as I would have wished. I thank God for this grace of poverty to which I vowed fidelity in my youth; poverty of spirit, as a priest of the Sacred Heart, and material poverty, which has strengthened me in my resolve never to ask for anything – money, positions or favours – never, either for myself, or for my relations and friends” (29 June 1954). _________________________

AN ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY: BACKGROUND AND RITUALS

As I post this column, the consistory in St. Peter’s is about to start. When the embargo on the talk by Cardinal Sako and the homily by Pope Francis is over, I will publish those in a separate post.

AN ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY: BACKGROUND AND RITUALS

The Holy See Press Office published data on the ordinary public consistory that Pope Francis announced on Pentecost Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Regina Coeli. Following are Francis’ words at that moment, including the names of the new cardinals, how a consistory unfolds and where the new cardinals may be seen in the late afternoon, traditional post-consistory “Courtesy Visits” hosted by the Vatican.

Regina Coeli, Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am glad to announce that on 28th June I will hold a Consistory for the appointment of fourteen new cardinals. Their origins express the universality of the Church, who continues to announce God’s merciful love to all men on earth. Moreover, the insertion of the new cardinals in the diocese of Rome, expresses the inseparable link between the See of Peter and the particular Churches throughout the world.

These are the names of the new cardinals:

1. His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans;
2. H.E. Msgr. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.I., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
3. H.E. Msgr. Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of Rome;
4. H.E. Msgr. Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Substitute for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State and special delegate to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta;
5. H.E. Msgr. Konrad Krajewski, apostolic almoner;
6. H.E. Msgr. Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi;
7. H.E. Msgr. António dos Santos Marto, bishop of Leiria-Fátima;
8. H.E. Msgr. Pedro Barreto Jimeno, S.I., archbishop of Huancayo;
9. H.E. Msgr. Désiré Tsarahazana, archbishop of Toamasina;
10. H.E. Msgr. Giuseppe Petrocchi, archbishop of L’Aquila;
11. H.E. Msgr. Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda, archbishop of Osaka.
Along with them, I will join with the members of the College of Cardinals an archbishop, a bishop and a religious who are distinguished for their service to the Church:
12. H.E. Msgr. Sergio Obeso Rivera, archbishop emeritus of Xalapa;
13. H.E. Msgr. Toribio Ticona Porco, prelate emeritus of Corocoro;
14. Rev. Fr. Aquilino Bocos Merino, Claretian.
Let us pray for the new cardinals, so that, confirming their following of Christ, merciful and faithful Supreme Priest (cf. Heb 2: 17), they may help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of all the faithful Holy People of God.

As of the June 28 consistory the College of Cardinals will have 226 members:
– 77 created by Pope St. John Paul
– 75 created by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI
– 74 created by Pope Francis

As of June 28, there are 125 cardinal electors (that is, under the age of 80) (5 electors over the ceiling set by Blessed Pope Paul VI:)
– 19 were created by Pope John Paul II
– 47 created by Benedict XVI
– 59 created by Francis

Of the 226 total members of the College of Cardinals:
– Europe has 107 cardinals (of whom 53 electors, **)
– North America has 26 (of whom 17 electors)
– Central America has 8 (5 electors)
– South America has 27 (13 electors)
– Africa has 26 cardinals (16 electors)
– Asia 26 cardinals (17 electors)
– Oceania 6 cardinals (4 electors)
– ** Italy alone has 44 cardinals, of whom 22 are electors

ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 14 NEW CARDINALS

THURSDAY, JUNE 28TH

16:00 p.m. St. Peter’s Basilica – Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals

18:00 – 20:00 p.m. COURTESY VISITS to the new Cardinals:

PAUL VI HALL

Atrium

1. His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako 2. His Excellency Msgr. Joseph Couttsi 3. His Excellency Msgr. Sergio Obeso Rivera 4. His Excellency Msgr. Toribio Ticona Porco 5. Reverend Father Aquilino Bocos Merino, C.M.F.

Hall

6. His Excellency Msgr. Angelo De Donatis 7. His Excellency Msgr. António Augusto dos Santos Marto 8. His Excellency Msgr. Pedro Barreto Jimeno, S.I. 9. His Excellency Msgr. Désiré Tsarahazana 10. His Excellency Msgr. Giuseppe Petrocchi 11. His Excellency Msgr. Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda

APOSTOLIC PALACE

“Regia” Room

12. His Excellency Msgr. Giovanni Angelo Becciu

“Ducale” Room

13. His Excellency Msgr. Mons. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.I. 14. His Excellency Msgr. Konrad Krajewski

ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 14 NEW CARDINALS

I – The rite (JFL file photo)

On Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 16:00 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will hold an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 14 new Cardinals. A Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals contains the following points:

– The Greeting; Prayer; Epistle

– At the opening of the celebration the first of the new cardinals (Louis Raphaël I Sako) then addresses the Holy Father, on behalf of everyone.

– Allocution of the Holy Father

– The Pope reads the formula of creation, and solemnly proclaims the names of the new cardinals.

“Dear brothers and sisters, we are about to carry out an agreeable and solemn task of our sacred ministry. It chiefly concerns the Church of Rome, but it also affects the entire ecclesial community: we will call certain of our brethren to enter the College of Cardinals, so that they may be united to the Chair of Peter by a closer bond our apostolic ministry. Having been invested with the sacred purple, they are to be fearless witnesses to Christ and his Gospel in the City of Rome and in faraway regions. Therefore, by the authority of Almighty God, of Saints Peter and Paul and our Own, we create and solemnly proclaim Cardinals of Holy Roman Church these brothers of ours…”

– The Profession of Faith and the oath of fidelity by new cardinals:. “I, N., Cardinal of Holy Roman Church, promise and swear, from this day forth and as long as I live, to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel, constantly obedient to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, become members of the Roman clergy and cooperate more directly in Francis and his canonically elected successors, always to remain in communion with the Catholic Church in my words and actions, not to make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could bring damage or dishonour to Holy Church, to carry out diligently and faithfully the duties to which I am called in my service to the Church, according to the norms laid down by law. So help me Almighty God.”

– Each new cardinal then approaches the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal’s biretta, the cardinalatial ring and the name of his title or deaconry:

– The Pope places the biretta on his head and says, in part: “(This is) scarlet as a sign of the dignity of the cardinalate, signifying your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith, for the peace and tranquillity of the people of God and for the freedom and growth of Holy Roman Church.

– The Pope gives the cardinalatial ring: “Receive the ring from the hands of Peter and know that your love for the Church is strengthened by the love of the Price off the Apostles.”

– The new cardinals are assigned a church of Rome (“Title” or “Deaconry”), as a sign of their participation in the pastoral care of the Pope for the City.

– The Holy Father hands over the Bull of the Creation of Cardinals, assigns the Title or Deaconry and exchanges a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals.

– The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves.

– The rite is concluded with the Lord’s Prayer.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH (THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. PETER AND PAUL)

9:30 a.m. St. Peter’s Square – Blessing of the Pallia (Palliums) – Holy Mass

12:00 p.m. Angelus Domini

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF 14 CARDINALS-DESIGNATE

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF 14 CARDINALS-DESIGNATE

Biographical sketches on the 14 cardinals-designate announced by Pope Francis on Sunday, May 20, at the Regina Coeli (Catholic Herald, CNS, The Tablet, Catholic Canada).

Their names are listed in the order Pope Francis announced them.

I took photos from the Internet, except for those of Patriarch Sako, whom I know. I took the photos you will see below in a blog I wrote during a visit to Kirkuk when he was archbishop.

— Iraqi Cardinal-designate Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic patriarch, was ordained a bishop eight months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He witnessed the exodus of the country’s native Christians and ministered to the beleaguered and martyred people who remained. After his installation as head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in 2013, he said the church must be a sign of hope, witness and communion, despite the difficulties, and work together with all Iraqis to defend human dignity and peaceful coexistence based on equal rights.

The 69-year-old cardinal-designate was born July 4, 1948, in Zakho. After studies in Mosul, Rome and Paris, he returned to Mosul in 1986 and served as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish and, during the U.S.-led embargo of Iraq, he and several physicians and pharmacists opened a dispensary for the poor.

He was rector of the patriarchal seminary in Baghdad before the Chaldean bishops’ synod elected him archbishop of Kirkuk in 2002 — an election approved by St. John Paul II in 2003. He was elected to lead the Chaldean Church in early 2013, and Pope Benedict XVI formally recognized the election soon after.
http://www.ewtn.com/news/blog.asp?blogposts_ID=915&blog_ID=1

Iraq’s Christian population, believed to number up to 1.4 million in the late 1990s, now is believed to be significantly fewer than 500,000. Almost two-thirds of Iraqi Christians belong to the Chaldean Catholic Church.

— Spanish Cardinal-designate Luis F. Ladaria, 74, was born in Manacor, Mallorca, April 19, 1944, and earned a law degree at the University of Madrid before entering the Society of Jesus in 1966. After theology and philosophy studies in Spain and Germany, he was ordained to the priesthood July 29, 1973.

He earned a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1975 and began teaching dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University Comillas in Madrid. Nine years later, he returned to the Gregorian to teach, and he served as vice rector of the university from 1986 to 1994.

Pope Benedict XVI made him an archbishop and appointed him secretary of the doctrinal congregation after having worked with him as a member of the International Theological Commission from 1992 to 1997, as a consultant to the doctrinal congregation from 1995 to 2008 and as secretary general of the theological commission from 2004 until being named congregation secretary.

Pope Francis promoted Cardinal-designate Ladaria to prefect of the congregation in 2017. As prefect, he is responsible for promoting the correct interpretation of Catholic doctrine and theology; his office also is responsible for conducting investigations of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors.

— Cardinal-designate Angelo De Donatis, 64, a well-known retreat master and spiritual director, was chosen by Pope Francis in 2014 to lead his first Lenten retreat as pope. In 2015, Pope Francis named him an auxiliary bishop of Rome, and in 2017, tapped him to be his vicar for the Diocese of Rome.

Born Jan. 4, 1954, in Casarano, Italy, he earned a licentiate in moral theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. Ordained to the priesthood in 1980 for the Diocese of Nardo-Gallipoli, he was incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Rome in 1983.

He ministered in a number of parishes and worked in the offices of the Rome vicariate before becoming the archivist for the College of Cardinals, a position he held from 1989 to 1991. For six years, he was director of the Rome diocesan office for clergy and, from 1990 to 2003, served as the spiritual director of the Rome diocesan seminary.

— Cardinal-designate Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 69, has served since 2011 as “substitute for general affairs” in the Vatican Secretariat of State, a position often described as being the pope’s chief of staff, the one who deals with daily Vatican affairs. As Pope Francis said when announcing the new cardinals, Cardinal-designate Becciu also has served as the pope’s special delegate with the Knights of Malta since February 2017.

A career Vatican diplomat, he was named to his current position by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 after a two-year stint as nuncio to Cuba. Before being sent to Havana in 2009, Cardinal-designate Becciu served at Vatican diplomatic posts in the Central African Republic, Sudan, New Zealand, Liberia, Great Britain, France, the United States, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe.

Born in Pattada, Italy, June 2, 1948, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1972 and earned a degree in canon law, before entering the Vatican diplomatic service. St. John Paul II named him an archbishop in 2001.

— Once an assistant at liturgies for both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal-designate Konrad Krajewski became Pope Francis’ eyes, ears and hands for identifying the needs of Rome’s poor and offering them direct assistance.

As papal almoner since 2013, the Polish cardinal-designate distributes charitable aid from the pope, but he has taken the job to a whole new level, getting a dormitory, showers, a barbershop and laundromat set up near the Vatican for the homeless. He has also organized special private tours for the poor and homeless to the Vatican Gardens, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Cardinal-designate Krajewski said Pope Francis told him to sell his desk when he was hired, since his job was to go out and look for those in need. However, the cardinal-designate also gave up the apartment where he was living so Syrian refugee families could live there.

Born in Lodz, Poland, Nov. 25, 1963, the 54-year-old cardinal-designate studied in Poland and Rome, where he received degrees in theology and liturgy. He served as a hospital chaplain in Rome before returning to Lodz to teach liturgy at local seminaries and become prefect of the diocesan seminary.

Returning to Rome, he worked in the Vatican’s office of papal liturgical celebrations from 1999 to 2013 and could be seen at the side of the pope during celebrations of Mass.

— Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts of Karachi, 72, will be the second cardinal from Pakistan in the church’s history. The first, Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro of Karachi, died in 1994.

Cardinal-designate Coutts has served as president of the bishops’ conference of Pakistan and of Caritas Pakistan. His episcopal motto is “Harmony,” and he is known for his efforts in promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in a nation where less than 2 percent of the population is Christian. He has been a leading voice for the reform of an anti-Islam blasphemy law, which he criticizes as being easy to manipulate for personal gain and to harass non-Muslims.

Born July 21, 1945, in Amritsar, India, he studied at Christ the King Seminary in Karachi and was ordained to the priesthood in Lahore in 1971. After graduate studies in Rome, he served as a professor at Christ the King Seminary and later served as rector of a minor seminary in Lahore.

St. John Paul II named him coadjutor bishop of Hyderabad in 1988, and he became head of the diocese two years later. He served as bishop of Faisalabad from 1998 to 2012, when Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of Karachi.

— Cardinal-designate Antonio dos Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima, Portugal, 71, was born in Chaves, May 5, 1947, and studied at the minor seminary of Vila Real before entering the major seminary at Porto and studying at the Portuguese Catholic University.

Seven years after his priestly ordination in 1971, Cardinal-designate Marto earned a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Braga in 2000 and bishop of Viseu in 2004 by St. John Paul II.

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal-designate Marto to lead the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, where the famed apparitions of Mary occurred in 1917.

In an interview with Radio Renascenca in 2017, Cardinal-designate Marto admitted that he is “a convert,” who, as a priest, was initially skeptical of the Marian apparitions in Fatima.

“I was a skeptic. I didn’t care; I did not take an interest, nor did I take a position. I understood it as something for children,” Cardinal-designate Marto said.

The skepticism changed into belief after attending a conference on the apparitions and reading the memoirs of Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the children who saw Our Lady of Fatima. He told the radio station, “I was deeply impressed, both by the authenticity of the testimony she gave and by the seriousness of the problems she dealt with. I read her memoirs three times to find the historical and ecclesial context” of the apparitions.

— Cardinal-designate Pedro Barreto of Huancayo, Peru, 74, was born in the Peruvian capital, Lima, Feb. 12, 1944. After entering the Society of Jesus in 1961, he studied philosophy and theology in Spain and Peru.

He served as pastor in several parishes before he was named apostolic vicar of Jaen in 2001 by St. John Paul II and was ordained a bishop in January 2002. Four years later, he was appointed archbishop of Huancayo by Pope Benedict.

He also served as director of department for justice and peace of the Peruvian bishops’ conference.

Years before Pope Francis was to release his encyclical on the environment, Cardinal-designate Barreto was an outspoken advocate for responsible mining practices and the dangers that pollution posed for the poor and their surroundings.

He was also known for his public criticism of smelting operations in La Oroya, which was considered one of the world’s most polluted places in 2007 by the Blacksmith Institute.

— When Cardinal-designate Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar, spoke at the special Synod of Bishops for Africa in 2009, he talked of the need for the church to make a greater effort in helping laypeople live their faith in politics, saying a changed mentality, a conversion of heart, was a great challenge for Africa.

The 63-year-old cardinal-designate leads a diocese serving more than half a million Catholics — some 30 percent of the population of nearly 2 million people. Born in Amboangibe, June 13, 1954, he studied theology and was ordained a priest in 1986. St. John Paul II named him bishop of Fenoarivo Atsinanana in 2001. Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop of Toamasina in 2008 and elevated him to archbishop in 2010. He was elected president of the bishops’ conference of Madagascar in 2012 and confirmed for a second term in 2015.

— Named by Pope Francis to be archbishop of L’Aquila in 2013, Cardinal-designate Giuseppe Petrocchi had to lead an archdiocese still trying to rebuild and recover from a deadly earthquake in 2009. He has been credited with revitalizing the church’s pastoral outreach and resolving the local curia’s economic problems.

Born in Ascoli Piceno, Aug. 19, 1948, the 69-year-old cardinal-designate taught religion, philosophy, pedagogy and psychology in local public high schools after becoming a priest in 1973. He directed a diocesan vocational center, served as parish priest, was chief editor of the diocesan bulletin, worked as a psychologist for the diocese’s family counseling services and was active in diocesan youth programs.

He was named bishop of Latina-Terracina-Sezze-Priverno in 1998.

— Japanese Cardinal-designate Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda of Osaka is the vice president of the bishops’ conference of Japan. Born March 3, 1949, in Tsuwasaki, Kami-Goto, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Nagasaki in 1975. Over the years, he served as a parish priest, editor of the diocesan bulletin and directed the the diocese’s commission for social communications.

He served as secretary general of bishops’ conference from 2006 until 2011, when he was made bishop of Hiroshima. Pope Francis appointed him to lead the Archdiocese of Osaka in 2014.

— Archbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera, the 86-year-old retired archbishop of Xalapa, Mexico, was born in 1931 in the same city he served as archbishop.

He entered the seminary in 1944 and, after obtaining his degree in humanities in Mexico, he earned his doctorate in theology at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest in 1954.

He returned to his native Xalapa and taught philosophy and theology at the seminary and eventually served as spiritual director and rector.

In 1971, Blessed Paul VI named him bishop of Papantla, where he served for nearly three years before the pope appointed him coadjutor bishop of Xalapa. He became archbishop of his home diocese in 1979.

Cardinal-designate Obeso also served as president of the Mexican bishops’ conference for two consecutive terms, from 1983 to 1988, and was elected again in 1995. He retired in 2007.

— Cardinal-designate Toribio Ticona Porco, retired bishop of Corocoro, Bolivia, 81, was born in Atocha April 25, 1937. He never knew his father and was raised by his mother, who worked tirelessly to support him and his younger brother. In a 2016 interview with the Bolivian news site Iglesia Viva, the future cardinal said he worked several jobs as a child, including shining shoes and selling newspapers.

“I did it all out of love for my mother,” Cardinal-designate Ticona said. As a young man, he also worked as a bricklayer’s assistant, an auto mechanic and, for a time, at a local brewery.

After the arrival of Belgian missionaries in 1955, he entered the Catholic Church. The missionaries encouraged him to enter the seminary, and he was ordained in 1967.

He dedicated his priestly life ministering to and working alongside with local miners in in the small town of Chacarilla. The town of 2,000 people had no local government structure, so Cardinal-designate Ticona served as mayor for 14 years, attending to local matters during the week and celebrating Mass on the weekends.

He was named auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Potosi in 1986 and as head of the Territorial Prelature of Corocoro in 1992 by St. John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation in 2012.

After years of physical and spiritual work, Cardinal-designate Ticona saved enough money to buy a plot of land in Cochabamba for his mother; she is buried there, and he has said he hopes to be buried alongside her.

“I came to this world very humble and poor, and I want to die poor as well,” he told Iglesia Viva.

— Cardinal-designate Aquilino Bocos Merino is the 80-year-old former superior general of the Claretian religious order and a prolific writer and speaker on the theology of religious life.

Born May 17, 1938, in Canillas de Esgueva, Spain, he began studying with the Claretians at the age of 12 and made his religious profession as a member of the order in 1956. He was ordained a priest in 1963.

With a degree in philosophy from the Pontifical University of Salamanca and a diploma in clinic psychology, he served as spiritual director at a Maronite seminary in Salamanca and for his own order. He is a former director of a Spanish journal on religious life and co-founder of the Theological Institute of Religious Life in Madrid. In 1991, he was elected superior general of his order and was elected to a second six-year term in 1997.