Cardinal Arinze first speaker for fall Archbishop’s Lecture Series
By Nissa LaPoint
The Archbishop’s Lecture Series will begin next week with an honored guest.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican, will speak on “Encountering Jesus Christ” Sept. 18 at the John Paul II Center.
“Cardinal Arinze witnesses to a life lived in relationship with the Trinity,” Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila said. “His message will help all of us to pursue holiness in the new evangelization. I hope every Catholic in Denver will come to hear His Eminence speak.”
The lecture series, started by former Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput—now archbishop of Philadelphia—and the Augustine Institute, is a tradition for the archdiocese. Some of the holiest and brightest thinkers come to speak in Denver about Jesus Christ, Chancellor J.D. Flynn said.
“As a lay person, I’m edified by the witness of a holy priest, bishop and cardinal,” he said. “Cardinal Arinze is also an excellent storyteller and quite funny.”
Cardinal Arinze first visited Denver in 2002 for an ecumenical event hosted by his longtime friends, John and Carol Saeman, prominent Catholic philanthropists in Colorado. They describe him as a warm man with a keen sense of humor; a cardinal highly-regarded for his leadership.
“He’s had incredible positions in the Church given that he came from a small place in Nigeria. He’s had quite a journey,” John Saeman said.
Archbishop’s lecture series
Speaker: Cardinal Francis Arinze
The Nigerian-born cardinal has extensive experience in ecumenical and interreligious relations. Blessed Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, in which he served as president between 1985 and 2002. In 1999, he received a gold medallion from the International Council of Christians and Jews for his “outstanding achievements in interfaith relations,” according to the Vatican.
He retired after six years in the Vatican and returned to Denver in 2009 to speak at an Augustine Institute banquet. He also delivered the commencement speech at a Mass for the institute’s graduating class.
The lecture series is free and open to the public.