Having just celebrated his 85th birthday and the seventh anniversary of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI continues to draw the flock together — and to invite people into a closer relationship with Christ.

He reached out in 2009 with Anglicanorum Coetibus, welcoming our Anglican brothers and sisters into the Church and paving the way for Anglican ordinariates. Two stories in this issue further illustrate Pope Benedict’s earnest efforts to unify the faithful:

Jimmy Akin’s page-one piece on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Edward Pentin’s page-five news that the Society of St. Pius X is close to unity with the Church after almost three decades of separation.

These measures will hopefully lead these groups toward a prayerful introspection on their missions — and ultimately lead to a stronger, more faithful, more vibrant Church.

As the Holy Father said just before Lent this year, in daily prayer “we must learn to have greater trust in divine Providence, to ask God for the strength to abandon our own selves in order to renew our Yes; to repeat to him: ‘Your will be done’ to conform our will to his.”

Jesus himself yielded to the will of the Father. We all can do no less.

God bless you!