A man truly respected by all who have known him both as
a Jesuit companion and in his various communications roles in the Catholic
Church, Federico Lombardi has just celebrated his 80th birthday and,
most especially, his 50th anniversary of priestly life.
On Wednesday, 7 September, the Church of Santa Maria in
Traspontina, on Via della Conciliazione in Rome, was filled with communicators
who over the years have collaborated with Father Lombardi in offering the
Gospel message to the whole world in many languages and with very diverse
technical means. In an initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications,
the jubilarian presided over a Eucharist of thanksgiving, surrounded by his
friends and colleagues.
It is worth remembering that Father Lombardi was
Provincial Superior of Italy from 1984 to 1990. He then served as director of
programming and subsequently as General Director of Vatican Radiountil 2016. From 2001 to 2013, he was also director
of CTV (Centro Televisivo Vaticano).
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him director of the Holy See’s press
office, a position he held for 10 years. In this sensitive position, he was
able to show his fidelity to the Holy Father and the Church while fully
respecting the professional demands of journalists around the world. Federico
Lombardi continues to serve as superior of the Jesuit community of La Civiltà Cattolica and as president of
the Board of Directors of the Fondazione
Joseph Ratzinger - Benedetto XVI.
the beginning of the Eucharist on the occasion of his jubilee, Father Lombardi stated
how touched he had been by the personal messages of congratulations and
encouragement sent by Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the General of
the Society of Jesus and many other friends. He received these testimonies with
humility, saying that his entire journey had been marked by the desire to serve
the one who had chosen him as a companion, Jesus. Father Lombardi chose to
celebrate the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and he emphasised in his
homily the theme of the self-giving of Jesus on the cross, before which we stand
speechless. He gave thanks for having been able to help proclaim the mercy and
love of God for humanity: this was his raison