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Archbishop Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to U.S., Visits College

Archbishop Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to U.S., Visits College

Posted: January 12, 2018

On Friday morning, Thomas Aquinas College was blessed with a visit from the Most Rev. Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to the United States of America. His Excellency stopped by during a trip to Southern California, where he met with the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, and visited the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey. The Archbishop toured the campus, viewed damage from the Thomas Fire, and offered Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. He then joined President Michael F. McLean and Dean John J. Goyette, as well as students and chaplains, for lunch in St. Joseph Commons.

  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò
  • Archbishop Vigano Mass 1-12-2018
    Slideshow: Mass with Archbishop Viganò

“You give me unexpected joy to be with you today for the celebration of this Eucharist at this college dedicated to St. Thomas Aquinas,” Archbishop Viganò said in his homily. “I have been spending almost five years in this great country as the representative of the Holy Father, and I heard many, many times people speak about your college. And, of course, I was waiting for the occasion to come, to see this great institution which is very well known in all the country and beyond.”

His Excellency offered high praise for the Chapel, saying, “You call this a ‘chapel,’ but this really is almost a basilica! It is really a wonderful church which is so, so inspiring for the style, so beautiful. Also for this altar, which recalls for me St. Peter’s baldacchino.” From there, he drew upon the first reading, in which the people of Israel sought an earthly king, rather than the promised Messiah. Urging the faithful to avoid their error, he implored, “We have a Lord, a good one. Let us follow Him.”

A native of Varese, Italy, Archbishop Viganò will soon celebrate his Golden Jubilee as a priest, having been ordained on March 24, 1968, in the Diocese of Pavia. He holds doctorates in both canon and civil law, and entered the diplomatic service for the Holy See in 1973, serving diplomatic posts in Iraq, Kuwait, Great Britain, Vatican City, and France. On April 26, 1992, he was consecrated Bishop by Pope St. John Paul II. From 1992 to 1998 he served as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Nigeria, and then, from 2009 to 2011, as Secretary General of the Governorate of the Vatican City. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to the United States on October 19, 2011, and he served in that capacity until his retirement in April, 2016.

“It was truly an honor to have Archbishop Viganò here on campus,” said Dr. McLean, noting that His Excellency has a longstanding friendship with the College, including hosting a 2014 event at the Papal Nunciature in Washington, D.C., with the Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., emeritus professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University. “The Archbishop offered Mass with great reverence and gave a thoughtful homily that our students very much seemed to appreciate. We are grateful for his generosity, and also to our friends the Norbertine Fathers — particularly Fr. Gregory — for bringing him to be with us.”