Remarks by Archbishop Gomez at the 7th Annual Napa Institute Summer Conference
Archbishop Gomez (photo by courtesy of Il Sismografo)
Pubblicato il 31/07/2017
Ultima modifica il 31/07/2017 alle ore 14:07
most reverend jose h. gomez*
My dear friends,
I am just coming back from Mexico. I had the blessing a few weeks ago to lead our first pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
As some of you know, I have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I learned it from my parents, beginning when I was a young boy growing up in Monterrey, Mexico.
Every summer my mom and dad would take my sisters and I on a 600-mile journey to visit our grandparents in Mexico City. And every time we went, our whole family would make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
My experience was not unique. This is what Catholic families do in Mexico — everyone tries to make a pilgrimage at least once a year to the Basilica.
I think most of us know the Guadalupe story. It takes us back to the “spiritual dawn” of the Church’s mission in the Americas.
It was December 1531 and the Blessed Virgin appeared to a poor Indian convert named Juan Diego on a hilltop outside Mexico City.
The Virgin entrusted Juan Diego with a mission — to go and ask the bishop to build a shrine in her name.
To convince the bishop, Our Lady gave him a sign. She made roses bloom even though it was the dead of winter. Then she used those roses to “imprint” her own image on the cloak — called a “tilma” — that Juan Diego was wearing.
And as we know, that tilma is still hanging today — almost 500 years later — in the Basilica, which is built not far from the site where she first appeared.
I am remembering that history today because I believe that Guadalupe holds the “key” for understanding the times we are living in.
So, that is what I want to talk with you about today. Also, it really makes sense because the Napa Institute, as we know, is entrusted to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I want to offer my reflections today on the important conversation that has been going on in the Church this year — the question of how we are going to live our Catholic faith and carry out the Church’s mission in a “post-Christian” society. A society that every day is becoming more and more hostile to our values and our beliefs.
It is a crucial conversation. Archbishop Chaput, is right — we are fast becoming “strangers in a strange land.” His recent book is the most important book that has been written in the Church in some time. And I agree with him — it is not a matter of indifference whether we choose one path or another going forward.