Friday, April 13, 2012


The Bishops of the Provinces of Los Angeles and San Francisco begin their Ad Limina visit in Rome on April 15.

Every five years all Bishops are required to Rome to pray at the tombs of St. Peter and of St. Paul, to meet with the Pope, and to visit with the major offices of the Holy See. The name, Ad Limina, comes from the Latin expression "Ad Limina Apostolorum," or, "To the Doorposts of the Apostles."
Each day we will celebrate Mass in one of the four major Basilicas of Rome: St. Peter's, St. Paul's Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran, and St. Mary Major. A visit with Pope Benedict XVI is part of the visit.

Although now the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, the five-year Report to the Holy See covers the time period up to December 31, 2010. During those years I served as the active Archbishop of Los Angeles, and therefore, am responsible for the Report.

During these wonderful days in Rome, your Bishops will be praying for all of you, the faithful People of God in our various Archdioceses and Dioceses.

As of Wednesday evening, we have so far visited the following offices of the Holy See: the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura [the Supreme Court for the Church], the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Clergy, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for Divine Worship, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

At each official visit we discuss in general our five-year Reports, and raise up issues for discussion. The atmosphere and dialogue are faith-filled, and we are able to receive helpful guidance in response to our questions.

This Ad Limina visit brought us to the offices of a new entity of the Holy See--the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. Recall that Pope John Paul II had frequently mentioned a "new evangelization" in which each of us would deepen our personal encounter with Jesus Christ, share our faith journeys, and become a more welcoming Church.

With some 22 million inactive Catholics across our country, we need to be proactive in reaching out to them and in inviting them "home" to our Faith Community of Catholics.

A special Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization will take place beginning this coming October, as well as the launching of The Year of Faith for the Church world-wide. Many new pastoral initiatives will be suggested this year for implementation at the Diocesan and parish levels.

Initiatives will be taken to enliven the faith-lives of our Catholic people, and to help them bring the values and imperatives of Jesus Christ in the Gospels to our daily lives. This is an exciting new chapter in the life of the Church, and I look forward with great eagerness to our new evangelization efforts.

May Saints Peter and Paul continue to intercede for us all!!