Bishop Michael Smith was present at the General Audience with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday 17 June 2015.

It was the Bishop’s first opportunity to meet Pope Francis since he was elected in 2013. The visit to Rome coincided with the diaconate ordination of Rev. Warren Collier.

During the General Audience, the Holy Father referred to his new Encyclical on the care of ‘our common home’, which is creation. “This ‘home’ of ours is deteriorating and this harms everyone, especially the poorest”, the Pope said. “Mine is therefore a call to responsibility, based on the task God gave to human beings in creation: “to till and keep” the “garden” in which he placed him (cf. Gen 2:15). I invite all people to accept with an open heart this document”, the Pope concluded.

After meeting the Pope, Bishop Smith joined Warren and his family and friends at the diaconate celebrations.

The following morning, Warren performed his first duties as a deacon, preaching at Mass in the Pontifical Irish College, which was celebrated by the Bishop.