Centennial moment: Calling upon the Holy Spirit
On Sunday's feast of Pentecost, many Catholics will sing the Veni Creator ("Come, Holy Spirit"), an ancient invocation of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. (It's also heard a lot this time of the year at Catholic graduations.)The second line of the hymn, mentes tuorum visita (often translated as "come live in our minds" or "in our souls take up thy rest"), had a special significance for Our Sunday Visitor founder Archbishop John F. Noll. When he was ordained bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., on June 30, 1925, Bishop Noll chose mentes tuorum visita as the motto for his coat of arms. Archbishop Noll biographer Ann Ball pointed out that "impelled by apostolic zeal, he translated his motto into action." She writes:
Because of his experience with national and international issues, Bishop Noll immediately became an influential leader among U.S. prelates. He was named secretary of the fledgling National Catholic Welfare Conference (now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), and was a longtime member of that body's administrative committee. In his role with the bishops' conference, Bishop Noll again demonstrated his foresight about the coming information age, helping to launch Catholic News Service and the "Catholic Hour" on NBC radio.
Bishop Noll was named to a team of four bishops responsible for starting the Legion of Decency in 1933 and began his own diocesan drive against lewd magazines in 1937, convinced that the magazines were part of a communist plan to destroy the morals of youths. Thereafter, the bishops took up the drive nationally, and named Bishop Noll chairman.
Bishop Noll likewise headed a fundraising campaign to finish the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and promoted this and other worthy causes through Our Sunday Visitor. Similar efforts brought in funds to erect a 50-foot-tall statue of Christ, the Light of the World, in Washington, D.C.
In spite of all these outside activities, Bishop Noll never neglected his own growing dioceses...