The man who will soon head the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says seeing the Pope this week will help him prepare for his new assignment.
Bishop John Nienstedt will attend a prayer service today that Pope Benedict XIV will deliver to the nation's bishops. Nienstedt will also attend the pope's mass Thursday at the new baseball stadium in Washington, DC.
Nienstedt is getting ready to take over the Twin Cities archdiocese after Harry Flynn retires.
"I think it's strengthening knowing he's ministering to the Universal Church. It gives me greater confidence in being able to minster to this great, large archdiocese. And to be faithful to that call," said Nienstedt.
Nienstedt has had one audience with Benedict since he became Pope three years ago.
He says the Pontiff recalled his trip to St. Paul in 1984, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger received an honorary degree during a visit to the University of St. Thomas.
The president of St. Thomas, Father Dennis Dease, along with the president of the College of St. Catherine, Sister Andrea Lee, will also attend a meeting for Catholic educators with the Pope on Thursday.