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Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Pope Francis' ambassador to the U.S., leads Holy Communion for a crowd of more than 2,100 people at Sunday's Solemn Mass in Lake Placid. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em>
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Pope Francis' ambassador to the U.S., leads Holy Communion for a crowd of more than 2,100 people at Sunday's Solemn Mass in Lake Placid. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Pope's personal representative leads mass in Lake Placid

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Catholics from all corners of the North Country traveled to Lake Placid Sunday for a special Mass led by Pope Francis' personal representative to the United States.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. He presided over a mass in the Olympic Center's 1932 arena that drew roughly 2,800 people.

The event was the culmination of a year-long series of celebrations designed to energize the faith of Catholics across the region.

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Reported by

Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

Bishop Terry LaValley said the Diocese of Ogdensburg was honored and grateful to have Archbishop Vigano in the North Country. 

“Archbishop Vigano, welcome to our beautiful Diocese of Ogdensburg. Welcome to God’s country.”

"We know we are not easy to get to," LaValley added, drawing laughs from the crowd, "but you found us, and through your holy and gentle presence, we know of Pope Francis' deep care and loving concern for all of us."

Essentially a Vatican ambassador, Vigano has a dual role. He's responsible for diplomatic relations with the U.S. government and serves as the pope's representative to the American church, which includes the search for and vetting of candidates to become bishops.

Robert Main Jr. is a Franklin County and state Supreme Court judge and was part of the committee that organized Sunday's event.

"The nuncio has responsibility for the church throughout the country, so to have him here in the diocese for this celebration is a particular privilege for the people of the diocese," Main said.

The hockey rink was filled to capacity with Catholic parishioners, many of whom traveled to Lake Placid together by bus.

Sunday’s Mass was part of the celebration of the Year of Faith, which was launched by Pope Benedict in October 2012 as a way to reinvigorate the faith of Catholics around the world. Main said each diocese has marked the year with a variety of celebrations and activities.

"This Solemn Mass is the culminating event of the year as we approach the end of the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization, the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world in a new modern era," Main said.

During his sermon, LaValley called on North Country Catholics to tend to their faith and go out and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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