Bishop Richard F. Stika, Cardinal Justin Rigali remember Billy Graham

Jim Wogan News

The Rev. Billy Graham, famed preacher who was best known for his televised evangelism broadcasts, died Feb. 21 at his home in North Carolina at age 99. He is pictured in a 2005 photo in New York. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

Bishop Richard F. Stika issued the following statement on receiving the news of the Rev. Billy Graham’s death on Wednesday in North Carolina at the age of 99:

“I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Graham in 1999 during his visit to St. Louis as he was preparing for one of his famous crusades to be held there. I found him to be a very authentic and humble preacher of the Gospel. During his meeting with then-Archbishop Justin Rigali, Dr. Graham expressed his immense admiration and respect for Pope John Paul II. Dr. Graham is sorely missed in our nation today and as in so many ways we as a nation have lost our moral bearing.  May he now Rest In Peace.”

His Eminence, Cardinal Justin Rigali, who now resides in the Diocese of Knoxville, remembers the Rev. Graham from that same meeting in St. Louis:

“When I heard the news this morning about the death of Dr. Billy Graham, it brought back memories of the encounter I had with him some years ago in St. Louis with Bishop Stika. Something that stands out in the life and ministry of Dr. Graham is this wonderful admiration and love that he had for the person of Jesus Christ. He was always speaking about Christ and always speaking about who He is. He is the Son of God and we are destined to eternal life together with Him. It is encouraging to see the attention that the media is giving to Dr. Graham in reflecting on his long life. He has brought the message of Jesus to so many people and I am impressed by his personal piety, by his personal zeal, and by his love for our Savior Jesus Christ.”