Vatican City, February 10, 2020: The Ad Limina is an incredibly special time for a bishop. It is his opportunity to travel to the Eternal City, visit the tomb of Saint Peter, meet with the Holy Father, enjoy fellowship with his fellow bishops of his region, reflect on the successes and challenges of the past five years of episcopal ministry in his jurisdiction, and ask God for guidance and clarity on what is to come for his Diocese. This is what Bishop Berg has the opportunity to enjoy this week as he spends his days in Rome.
The Ad Limina for Bishop Berg and the bishops of Region XIII (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming) officially began today. The morning started with Holy Mass celebrated at the Basilica of Saint Peter, Altar of the Tomb presided by Archbishop Wester. The Gospel Reading was Matthew 16:18 where it says: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
Following the Mass, the bishops and the pilgrims in attendance had the opportunity to pray at the tomb of Peter and the surrounding tombs of previous Popes. Bishop Berg especially enjoyed praying before the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Saint Joseph and praying for his niece before the statue of Saint Helen who is the mother of Constantine and the namesake of his niece.
Following Mass and additional prayer at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Bishop Berg, his fellow bishops, priests and lay diocesan representatives, greeted the Holy Father Pope Francis.
In addition to Bishop Berg, representing the Diocese of Pueblo was Father Derrek Scott, Rector of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Father Michael Chrisman, Pastor of the Shrine of Saint Thérèse and Director of Worship, Eileen Krasovec-Perez, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, and Amanda Zurface, Vice-Chancellor.
Bishop Berg and his entourage presented an image of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux signed by the school children of the schools of the Diocese of Pueblo. Pope Francis received the framed image with a smile and blessed it.
Pope Francis was grateful to the Diocese of Pueblo for having women representatives in attendance. He affirmed the role of women in the Church and encouraged the men present at the audience to appreciate women and their role.
Following the audience with the Holy Father, the bishops of Region XIII met with Pope Francis to discuss their Quintennial Reports and the current state of affairs for each of their dioceses.
In regard to the meeting, Bishop Berg explained it was a peaceful opportunity where he was overjoyed to talk with Pope Francis about the growing faith of the people in the Diocese of Pueblo. Bishop Berg was also grateful to share with Pope Francis the struggles of the Diocese so as to ascertain his prayers.
The day ended with the bishops meeting with the officials of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Bishop Berg who is the Region Representative of the Bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCYP) gave the introduction to this meeting. He had the opportunity to ask questions and receive helpful answers to bring back to the day to day work of the Diocese of Pueblo.
Contributor: Amanda Zurface resides in Pueblo, Colorado, where she serves as the Vice-Chancellor for the Diocese of Pueblo. She also serves as the Catholic Content Specialist for Covenant Eyes. Amanda holds a License and MA in Canon Law and a BA in Catholic Theology and Social Justice. She is the co-author of Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, Confident: Helping Parents Navigate Online Exposure and Transformed by Beauty.