The Bishops had left their episcopal sees, without clearly knowing when they would return home. One, the 83 year old missionary Bishop Ashton Chichester, had served since 1929 in Rhodesia (which would later become the country known as Zimbabwe). The first Archbishop of Salisbury, he had almost reached the main door of St. Peter’s on his way into the Council when he collapsed on the steps leading to the Basilica and died.
That night, a brother Bishop remarked on Vatican Radio, how much Bishop Chichester “loved the Holy See. He longed for a Council, and hoped that he would live to attend one. Bishop Chichester felt in his heart both the perennial stability and the imperishable youth of the Church” ...
... like that other octogenarian, John XXIII, who sat in the Chair of St. Peter.
(NEXT WEEK: THE FIRST WORKING SESSIONS)
-- Monsignor John T. Myler