Distinctly Catholic

Q & A: Bishop Ricardo Ramirez

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Continuing our series on the episcopacy, today we hear from Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, the bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The question: What is the best thing about being a bishop in 2010?
Bishop Ramirez:
For me, the greatest joy as a bishop lies in making sure that catechesis, the handing on of faith, continues in the diocese. Preaching of the Word of God is one of the principal ways through which the faith is handed on. Today we do so through both traditional and new means. I get excited when I see how new technologies make it possible for so many more people to be involved and participate at the events, programs and discussions going on in our diocese.

As a bishop, it brings me joy to see the influx of so many newcomers and its impact on the multicultural make-up of the Church in the United States today. Nearly every race, ethnic and cultural group on earth is represented in our population and in our Church. What a gift!

The Politicization of Tragedy

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The politicization of a tragedy is as predictable as it is unseemly. The tragedy is that Sister Denise Mosier was killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, Carlos Martinelly-Montano, who was in the country illegally and was facing deportation for earlier drunk driving charges. Two other sisters remain in the hospital. The event is fraught with just the kind of emotional content that appeals to the hate-mongers in our culture.

Blast From the Past: Archbishop Edward Hanna

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At the conclusion of World War I, the nation was beset by labor strife. Few bishops were as engaged in the debates over social justice in the industrial age as was Archbishop Edward Hanna of San Francisco. An active collaborator with Father John A. Ryan at the National Catholic Welfare Conference, predecessor of the USCCB, Archbishop Hanna was frequently called upon to arbitrate labor disputes. This episode, recorded in his biography “An Archbishop for the People,” by Richard Gribble, CSC, details the force of his opinions and the foundation of Catholic social teaching. His remarks should earn him a spot on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.

“In a sermon delivered at St. Mary’s Cathedral Archbishop Hanna also voiced disappointment in the local labor situation. Referencing Rerum Novarum, Hanna said, ‘The industrial question in the opinion of some is merely an economic question, whereas in point of fact it is, first of all, a moral and religious matter and for that reason its settlement is to be sought mainly in the moral law and in the pronouncement of religion.’”

Q & A: Bishop Gabino Zavala

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This week at Q & A, we are following up on the coverage of the ordination of Bishop David O'Connell by interviewing American bishops about their role in today's Church. Yesterday we heard from Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans. Today, we hear from Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairmand of the USCCB Committee on Communications.
The question: What is the best thing about being a bishop in 2010?
Bishop Zavala:
As a Bishop, I live in a Church without borders -- my concerns
are universal! I have an opportunity to interact with a diversity of
people -- young, old, women and men, people of many diverse life
experiences, cultures, ethnicities, perspectives. In any given week, I
can meet with the condemned on death row, children in a parochial
school, government officials, celebrities, Church leaders and people in
the pews.

As a Bishop, I reflect on and look at faith and the living out of
the Gospel in contemporary times, in the world today. I have an
opportunity to dialogue on topics that affect the common good. Being a bishop
challenges me to be a person of discernment, reflection and prayer.

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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017

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