YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Bishop David Bonnar will have the rare honor next week of celebrating Mass with Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

In a release from the Diocese, after the Mass, which will take place on Monday, the Bishop will join 179 new bishops from around the world for a private audience with the Pope at the Vatican.

The gathering will include bishops ordained since 2019.

Typically, these sessions, which are known as “formations” occur annually, but the program had to be delayed because of the pandemic.

From Rome, the Bishop wrote to the people of the Diocese of Youngstown, saying “I realize I am far from my diocese, but in this experience, I feel so close to you and the entire Church.” His full message and photos from Rome can be found on the Diocese of Youngstown’s website.