The Vatican (Friday, 07-31-2015, Gaudium Press) The funeral mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum, who died on July 23rd, is scheduled to be held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC on Friday at 2 pm. He was born in Dallas, Texas but moved to Kansas City Missouri at a young age.
Cardinal William Wakefield Baum, who was Archbishop of Washington from 1973 to 1980, died at the age of 88 after a long illness. He was cardinal for 39 years, so the longest serving cardinal in the United States Church history.
Created cardinal by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1976, he began his work in the Vatican in 1980 serving first as Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and then as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary until he retired in 2001.
Cardinal Baum was witness to major moments of Church history in the twentieth century from the Second Vatican Council through to the election of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope. When Saint John Paul II died in 2005, Cardinal Baum acted as the senior cardinal priest in the conclave which would elect Benedict XVI. Cardinal Baum also took part in the conclaves of 1978 which would elect John Paul I and Saint John Paul II. He once shared with me his impressions of conclaves:
“From my view point it’s like a retreat, we spend most of our time in prayer and reflection. It’s not what the world might think, I’d like to emphasize that it is a spiritual experience, truly a retreat. What takes place is mysterious, the operation of the Holy Spirit is with us, it’s indefinable but we are aware of it.”
Cardinal William Wakefield Baum was a good friend of Vatican Radio’s English Programme and always thought of us at Christmas in a special way. We will miss him and remember him in our prayers.
Source Vatican Radio/Veronica Scarisbrick