Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I was concerned that the future of our great Catholic schools in the Archdiocese could be in jeopardy if we could not provide tuition assistance to many thousands of our children and young people.
In 1987 the Catholic Education Foundation [CEF] was established to build up an endowment fund, and the income from that fund would be used to offer scholarships for our children and young people in our Catholic Schools.
Since 1987, the CEF has made over 103,000 tuition awards to students for a total amount of over $100 million dollars. For most of those students, the CEF tuition awards are what keep them in our Catholic Schools.
I am most grateful to the Board of Directors of our CEF for their commitment over 23 years, and their willingness to make certain that these tuition awards are made available year after year. It is so impressive to have so many Board members donate year after year so that our Catholic Schools can remain viable and affordable for all of our families.
One of the greatest efforts of the Catholic Church in this country dating back to 1789 is the establishment of our extraordinary Catholic Schools.
I am personally committed to make certain that our Catholic Schools remain viable for as many Catholic families as possible. So many of our past, present, and future Cath0lic leaders will come from graduates of our Catholic elementary and high schools.
Please visit the wonderful website for the Catholic Education Foundation to learn more about it, and how you can participate in helping to keep our Catholic Schools open, vialable, and affordable for this and the next generation of Catholic School students: http://www.cefdn.org/
Each of us has a serious duty and responsibility to preserve and to enhance our Catholic Schools for the coming generations across the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I invite you to participate in helping to make sure that the legacy of quality Catholic Education is passed on from one generation to the next.
In our difficult economic times, it is really important that we make available tuition assistance for the many families who desperately want their children in our Catholic Schools, but who simply do not have the money to pay for tuition.
Please consider making a gift today to the Catholic Education Foundation to maintain our vigorous and faith-filled Catholic Schools! Gifts can be made directly through the CEF website:
Click on "Donate" and you will find many giving opportunities.
May God's blessings be abundant upon you!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
"We begin Lent 2010 much like we did in 2009. Enormous financial realities impact our families, especially with the continuing loss of jobs and no immediate prospects for a renewed and favorable job market.
Too many of our families in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have been impacted by the loss of jobs—especially those hundreds of thousands with minimum wage jobs. Countless thousands of our poorest people work two or more minimum wage jobs in order to sustain their families. But when one or more of those jobs terminates, the financial burdens are many and burdensome.
We see the disastrous results of those job losses: families struggle to pay their rent and utilities; others find it difficult to purchase adequate food for their families; and many of our Catholic families have had to take their children out of our Catholic elementary and high schools because they are unable to meet the tuition for their children. Even with the heroic efforts of Together In Mission school subsidies and the Catholic Education Foundation tuition scholarships, many of our families cannot afford to keep their children in our Catholic schools. This reality only compounds the problems for these families since a sound and integral education is the only and best hope for the children and young people of these families.
As we enter our annual Lenten journey, I would strongly recommend that all of us continue our traditional Lenten practices: increased prayer, appropriate fasting, and continued almsgiving. But this year, I would suggest that you consider making a donation during Lent to your parish school to enable a family unable to pay the tuition to have their son or daughter continue forward in that Catholic school. If your own parish school does not have this need, then there are many parish schools in each sector of our Archdiocese who could benefit from your Lenten charity.
I can think of no finer way to direct this year’s Lenten charitable giving than to those families who truly desire a sound Catholic education for their children but simply cannot afford it. If you are not certain which Catholic elementary schools are in most need, please contact our Office of Education at (213) 637-7300 and explain that you want to assist a young person remain in their Catholic school. The Office will give you the names of several schools in your immediate Pastoral Region.
Yet again, I am asking all of us to devote special prayer and fasting on behalf of our many undocumented immigrants living in our midst. It has been my personal goal for many years now to assist these families in having a path towards legal residency in our midst. Curt and abusive insults of our immigrant brothers and sisters do not help any of us in our great nation. The majority of our immigrant families are “mixed families,” meaning that some members are legal United States citizens and some are not. Because of this reality, these families will stay together and we will continue to have some people living in the shadows of legality.
Both the Congress and our President have the responsibility to help bring an end to these people living in the shadows of our society—often deprived of basic human rights and exploited by employers—and onto a path which would eventually bring them into full legal residence. Our country would benefit greatly from taking this step forward.
The Bishops of the United States remain committed to comprehensive immigration reform, and this is one of my highest priorities as Archbishop of Los Angeles. My own personal Lenten practices this year will be totally devoted to this effort at achieving meaningful and comprehensive immigration reform.
I invite you to consider both of these pressing issues during your Lenten journey: the opportunity for children to remain in our Catholic schools, and comprehensive immigration reform to be enacted by Congress.
Let us continue “to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and our most needful brothers and sisters during our Lenten journey!!"
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Last Fall we were blessed with 21 new seminarians for our Archdiocese. This coming Fall also looks promising for a large group of new men.
We have two different seminary locations: Juan Diego House in Gardena, where men are able to complete the required studies in philosophy and other needed courses before entering theology studies at our major seminary; and St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, where the men study theology for four full years, with an internship assignment in a parish during the year between second and third theology.
I am grateful to all of you for your continuing Prayers for Vocations--as Jesus Christ encouraged us. Prayer, especially at Mass or before the Blessed Sacrament, is so important for our overall efforts.
But we also must intensify our personal invitation to men to consider whether Christ may be calling them to serve Him and the Church as a priest. Often we see in our parishes men who attend Mass frequently during the week, who are involved in various parish ministries, and who show the signs and characteristics we are looking for in our future priests. A word of personal encouragement and invitation to these men is part of God's call to them.
Here in our Archdiocese we have a Prayer for Priestly Vocations, below. Please pray that Prayer often with your family members.
Father, in every generation you provide ministers of Christ and the Church. We come before you now, asking that youcall forth more men to serve our Archdiocesein the ministerial priesthood.
Give us priests who will lead and guideyour holy people gathered by Word and Sacrament.
Bless us with priestly vocations so that we can continueto be a truly Eucharistic Church,strengthened in our discipleship of Jesus Christ,your Only Son.
Raise up, we pray, men who are generous in their service,willing to offer their lives and all their giftsfor your greater glory and for the good of your people.We make our prayer in the presence and powerof the Holy Spirit, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
May I recommend the following websites for more information on Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life:
OFFICE of VOCATIONS:
ST. JOHN'S SEMINARY:
JUAN DIEGO HOUSE:
Saturday, February 6, 2010
The new Missal will be the first new translation since the current Missal was published in 1974--some 36 years ago.
It is anticipated that the new English Roman Missal will begin full use on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011--less than two years from now.
Since the 1974 version was translated in haste, there were many errors in the translation which rendered the Missal inaccurate in many places.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles just completed a series of Workshops for all of our priests to inform them about the coming new Missal, reasons for changes, and a good grounding in the efforts taken to produce a Missal which is more theologically correct.
A whole series of Workshops are being planned for everyone involved in the planning and celebration of the Eucharist: permanent deacons, parish liturgy committees, members of the various ministries, and the like. As we get closer to the launch of the new Missal, we will have several weeks of catechesis for all our people about the new Missal and the changes which will affect them in their responses at Mass.
There are two websites which contain a lot of background and information on the new English Missal. I recommend these two:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions:
The coming months will be very important to the life of the Church in the English-speaking world, and I encourage all of us to become as informed as we can about the new English Roman Missal.