The clergy, men and women living the consecrated life and the
lay faithful join me in offering to His Eminence Donald
Cardinal Wuerl and to all who form the Archdiocesan Church of
Washington the support of our fervent prayer and heartfelt
sympathy on the death of Cardinal William Wakefield Baum, the
third Archbishop of Washington. I also offer to the family
and friends of Cardinal Baum this twofold expression of
prayer and sympathy.
Cardinal Baum served the Church both here in our country and
in Rome at the Holy See faithfully, devotedly, and admirably.
Among his many gifts, which enriched the lives of countless
people, were his quiet but welcoming personality, his
perceptive understanding of diverse issues, his ardent
compassion for those in need, his defense of life, his
passionate support of Catholic education at all levels and of
priestly formation, and his truly wise insights and strong
encouragement of ecumenical and interfaith initiatives.
I treasure the times that we visited over the years. I always
left his presence uplifted and encouraged, deeply aware that
I l had just been with a holy man of God, a devoted and
faithful priest whose very life drew people to encounter the
I shall personally miss his presence among us, his counsel,
his encouragement and his witness. May the Good Shepherd now
give him fullness of life forever in His presence.