The news was made public yesterday that Archbishop Luigi Ventura who has been the Pope's representative in Canada for the past eight years has been appointed Apostolic Nuncio to France.
Archbishop Ventura has represented the Holy See with grace and efficiency in his eight years in Canada. One of the responsibilities of the Nuncio is to present to the Holy Father names of priests he recommends to be made Bishops. Archbishop Ventura has been involved in the appointment of some seventy bishops and archbishops in Canada during his time here, myself among them.
I have expressed more than once my appreciation to him for his part in the Holy Father's choosing to me to come to Regina as its Archbishop. He always just brushed it off with typical self effacement, muttering something about "just doing my job." Perhaps so, but my appointment as Auxiliary in Toronto and then my appointment here by our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to Regina to serve the people of this Archdiocese has been a great source of grace and blessing for me. I will will always hold Archbishop Ventura with great respect and affection for his part in bringing that about. These sentiments accompany my gratitude to the Holy Father for his trust and confidence in entrusting this ministry to me.
I, along with many in the Church in Canada, will miss his easy approachability, warmth and openess. I join the many others who are pleased with this recognition of his considerble ability as he is appointed as the Pope's representative in France, a country often referred to as "the Church's eldest daughter." France is also at the heart of European Secularism, and so the challenges will be considerable and we offer our prayers for him as he begins this new ministry.