PROVIDENCE –While in Rome for the ordination to the transitional diaconate of two Providence seminarians last week, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin had the opportunity to meet briefly with Pope Benedict XVI. Back in Providence Tuesday, the Bishop said he and the Holy Father discussed his visit to the United States, scheduled for next summer. Pope Benedict indicated the possibility that he might visit Boston during that trip.
On October 3, Bishop Tobin attended a general audience at the Vatican – along with thousands of pilgrims. He and the other Bishops and Cardinals in attendance were each given the opportunity to meet with the Holy Father.
"I told him that I brought the greetings and prayers of all the members of our Diocese," said Bishop Tobin.
He also mentioned to Pope Benedict XVI that should he visit Boston, he will be very close to Providence.
"We shall see what is possible," replied the Pope, according to the Bishop.
Bishop Tobin, who stayed at the North American College, his alma mater, for the week, said he was happy to have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. "It's always fascinating to meet people from all over the world," he said, noting that the general audience had "an international kind of flavor to it."
Walking through the halls of his alma mater, he said, "brings back just tons of memories from the four years that I was there."
A special moment was seeing someone waving a Pittsburgh Steelers bright yellow "terrible towel" at St. Peter's Cathedral in support of two men from Pittsburgh who were also ordained.
The diaconate ordination took Place October 4 (see separate story).
Bishop Tobin had the opportunity to celebrate the closing Mass at the college on Saturday evening for many of the pilgrims whose trips ended the following day.