Sunday, January 3, 2010


One of the great graces the Bishops of Southern California experience every year is our annual six-day retreat. It always begins the evening of Jan. 2 and concludes the morning of Jan. 9; held at the Cardinal Timothy Manning House of Prayer for priests in the foothills of Los Feliz.

Our retreat is a directed retreat. Rather than have conferences given to all of us togther, we journey forward with individual priest-directors--always Jesuits from the California Province. They meet with us daily, and assist us with our themes and Scripture meditations. The entire retreat is lived out in complete silence.

As I begin my final full year as the Archbishop of Los Angeles, my personal focus this year is on the centrality of the Eucharist in my life and in the lives of our wonderful Catholic people. I will be using various Scriptural themes: Jesus and the Bread of Life; the Multiplication of Loaves; the Last Supper; Paul and the Eucharist; Disciples on the way to Emmaus; and the REsurrection appearances--their Eucharistic meanings.

I will also be using the wonderful new book, Born of the Eucharist: A Spirituality for Priests,edited by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti. This collection of brief reflections by priests and Bishops will help me focus on my own love and priority of the Eucharist.

Each and every one of you will be remembered day by day during these six marvelous days of silence and listening to our Lord Jesus Christ speaking to me. Please pray for all of us as well.

Jesus, Bread of Life, pray for us!