The Third Annual Catholic Congress: Addresses and Papers
Albany, New York, October 25, 26, 27, A.D. 1927
Philadelphia: The Catholic Congress Committee, 1927.
Address of Welcome
THE RT. REV. RICHARD H. NELSON, D.D.
Bishop of Albany
GRACE be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
So far as human minds can approach the thoughts and purposes of God, the aim of this Catholic Congress is identical with that which is declared in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are assembled here because of our devotion to Him in Whom dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily and in Whom the children of men find eternal life.
It is my sincere belief that this Congress will make a definite contribution to the unity for which our Lord prayed on the night of His betrayal, and for this reason it appears to me appropriate that our services should be held in the Cathedral of All Saints.
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
The Saints of Christian ages may not be pictured in a [24/25] pattern of mechanical uniformity, but rather as a company who have held the Faith in diversity, being guided toward the perfection of truth through many changes of human thought and outward circumstance.
It does not lie with us to compile the names of this goodly company, but we are safe in stating that they comprise those faithful souls, known to God, who have loved our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. They represent a great spiritual fellowship who have sought to know Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The dominating purpose of their lives is the same as that which has drawn us together, and we shall not depart from the truth if we define the Catholic Church as the company of All Saints who are joined in sacramental union with Him who is the spiritual Head of mankind.
In this friendly gathering there will be opportunity for the discussion of many things which represent an honest search for truth, but I am convinced that we shall find the chief value of this Congress in the devotional services which unite those who truly believe in the Living Christ.
To all such I extend a loving welcome, believing that our mutual faith and devotion will promote concerted action for the establishment of revealed truth and for the cultivation of sincere devotion to Him who is the Heart of humanity and the Center of true brotherhood.