Notre Dame mourns death of Archbishop Pietro Sambi

by Julie Hail Flory

Archbishop Pietro Sambi

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, expressed the University’s grief at the passing of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, who died Wednesday (July 27) in Baltimore. He was 73 years old.

“Archbishop Sambi was an ambassador in the most literal sense of the word,” Father Jenkins said. “A strong and joyful leader, he inspired others through his deep faith, genuine compassion and thoughtful pursuit of the truth in the complex issues the Church has faced. He made many friends in his travels, including here at Notre Dame, and he will be deeply missed.

“The prayers of the Notre Dame family accompany the nuncio’s family and loved ones in their time of grief, and also celebrate the witness of Archbishop Sambi to the life of the Church.”

Archbishop Sambi, who was appointed nuncio in 2005, served as the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States and represented Pope Benendict XVI to the nation’s Catholic bishops. He visited Notre Dame last year to participate in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation, convened by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to discuss ways to deepen unity among the nation’s 68.5 million Catholics and to derive from their diversity a more robust sense of Catholic identity.