In the presence of over 200 guests, Bishop Tom Burns welcomed the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Adams, to a MEET THE DIOCESE evening in Swansea, South Wales, as His Excellency began a 3-day Pastoral Visit to the Diocese of Menevia. Throughout the evening Archbishop Adams was entertained to musical and choral presentations by pupils from the secondary schools of the Diocese, whilst displays of photographs from a variety of pastoral activities were shown on overhead screens. Among the distinguished guests were Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant and Swansea’s Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, as well as representatives from parishes, schools, the university, hospitals and care-homes spread across the Diocese’s area of 46% of Wales.
Next morning it was the turn mainly of the Primary Schools of the Diocese to entertain His Excellency in St Joseph’s Cathedral. Through music, singing, readings, choral pieces, and acting a short play on the theme of conversion, around 500 pupils and teachers packed the Cathedral. A group from each school presented a banner of its mission statement. At Lunchtime, the Archbishop moved to Swansea University to celebrate the Ash Wednesday Mass. Then in the evening he led a Lenten Station Mass in the City-centre parish of St David’s.
Most of his final full day was taken up with a visit to St David’s Cathedral and St Non’s Retreat Centre in South Pembrokeshire. It was in this area that St David was born in the 6th century and carried out his ministry of bringing Christianity to Wales. In his lifetime he built a dozen or so monasteries with little more than the faith and brawn of his young monks. It was a moving moment when the Church in Wales Bishop of St David’s, Joanna Penberthy, opened a casket to reveal what are arguably the bones of St David. The day was rounded off with an informal gathering of all 3 Catholic Bishops in Wales and a few of the local clergy.
On his final morning, Archbishop Adams called on Mother Theresa’s Community of Sisters and residents, and saw at first hand their work in support of the poor, the homeless, and the unemployed.
Laden with souvenirs, the Archbishop departed for London, hopefully with the same happy memories of his visit as his hosts retained of him and his many kindnesses.