What exactly is an ‘ad limina’?

For the first time since Pope Benedict XVI was elected to the papacy, the bishops of the Archdiocese of Baltimore are joining other bishops of their region in the traditional “ad limina apostolorum” visit with the Holy Father Jan. 16-21.

Ad limina visits are required every few years to give heads of dioceses around the world a chance to report on the state of their dioceses. The name comes from the Latin for “to the thresholds of the apostles.”

A special report of approximately 200 pages was prepared in advance of the visit and was sent to Rome at the end of November. It contains statistical information and other summaries of the state of the archdiocese, touching on demographic shifts, parish planning, challenges in Catholic education and more.

Cardinal-designate Edwin F. O’Brien, Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski and Bishop Denis J. Madden are in attendance. Bishop Richard Spencer, a former pastor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is in attendance representing the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

Bishops from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services and from the Virgin Islands began their “ad limina” visits with a Jan. 16 Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.