Every seven or eight years, the bishops of each diocese in the United States travel to Rome to meet with the pope and the various offices of the Roman Curia to provide an account of the state of their dioceses. The ad limina visit for Bishop Walkowiak and other Region VI bishops of Michigan and Ohio will be Dec. 9-13. These will be the first ad limina visits for Pope Francis as well as Bishop Walkowiak’s first ad limina pilgrimage. The previous visit in 2012 was made by Bishop Walter Hurley, who also will travel to Rome in December.


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Evangelization, care for priests top topics at Region VI meeting with pope (Catholic News Service via NCR, Dec. 10, 2019)
Mass at the tomb of St. Peter: Communion comes from faith in Christ, U.S. archbishop says (Catholic News Service, Dec. 9)

Canon law calls for these visits to occur every five years, but because of the increased number of bishops in the world, that hasn’t happened since the early days of St. John Paul II’s pontificate. Pope Francis’ regular practice now is to meet each group of bishops together spending between 90 minutes to two hours in discussion.


U.S. bishops set to begin their ‘ad limina’ visits to Rome (Catholic News Service via Crux, Oct. 31, 2019)

Prior to the the ad limina visit, each diocese submits to the pope a quinquennial report: a statistical snapshot of the diocese which informs the pope and his advisers about the state of the local church and any concerns a bishop may have about his particular diocese.

‘Ad limina’ visits, from the Latin phrase ad limina apostolorum meaning “to the thresholds of Peter and Paul,” have a very specific purpose: to strengthen the bishops’ responsibility to and bonds with the Successor of Peter. Another essential part of the pilgrimage is the celebration of Masses at the Rome basilicas of St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major.

Ad limina visits began Nov. 4 with the bishops of the northeastern region of the U.S. From November through February, another 14 groups of U.S. bishops will make the pilgrimage to Rome. The visits will conclude Feb. 22 with the bishops of the Eastern Catholic churches of the U.S.

Please pray for Bishop Walkowiak, Bishop Hurley and the other Region VI bishops as they make this pilgrimage.


Annalise Laumeyer, director of communications
[email protected] | 616-551-5629