Friday, June 29, 2012

Bishop Barnes on ACA Supreme Court Ruling

By Bishop Gerald Barnes
Diocese of San Bernardino

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court ruled to uphold a key provision of the Affordable Health Care Act, a decision that is surely welcomed by some and opposed by others. The Bishops of the United States have for decades advocated for comprehensive health care reform as a means to elevate the dignity of the people. At the same time, we have expressed our concerns about a handful of elements of the Affordable Health Care Act and thus did not support its implementation.

I ask that you join me in prayer that the leaders of our country amend this act so that our concerns in the areas of right to life, conscience protection and service to our immigrant communities are addressed. I also ask that as our dialogue on this emotional issue continues that we treat each other with civility and respect, even if we might not agree with each other. 

I invite you to review this statement issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling.

May God bless you.

Obispo Barnes y el resolución de la Corte Suprema sobre ACA

Por Obispo Barnes
Diócesis de San Bernardino

Hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

Ayer, la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos se pronunció a favor de que se mantenga una disposición clave de la Ley de Salud Asequible, una decisión que es, sin duda, bien recibida por algunos y rechazada por otros. Los Obispos de los Estados Unidos han abogado durante décadas por una reforma integral de atención a la salud como un medio para elevar la dignidad de las personas. Al mismo tiempo, hemos expresado nuestra preocupación por un conjunto de elementos de la Ley de Salud Asequible y por lo tanto no apoyamos su aplicación.

Les pido que me acompañen en oración para que los líderes de nuestro país modifiquen esta ley, para que nuestras preocupaciones en las áreas del derecho a la vida, protección de la conciencia y el servicio a nuestras comunidades de inmigrantes sean tomadas en cuenta. También les pido que, dado que nuestro diálogo sobre este asunto tan emotivo continúa, nos tratemos con cortesía y respeto, aunque no estemos de acuerdo unos con otros.

Los invito a revisar esta declaración emitida por la Conferencia de los Obispos Católicos de EE.UU. sobre la decisión de hoy del Tribunal supremo.

Que Dios los bendiga.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bishop Barnes on SB 1070 ruling

By Bishop Gerald Barnes
Diocese of San Bernardino

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The United States Supreme Court has issued its ruling on Arizona’s 2010 law related to the enforcement of immigration policy. The court struck down most of the law, correctly ruling that it is the responsibility of the federal government, not states, to enforce immigration law. This central point of the ruling is welcomed and it is consistent with the position expressed by the Bishops of the United States.

Yet Arizona law enforcement officers will be required, under the ruling, to check the immigration status of persons they stop or detain when it is suspected that they do not have proper documentation. This is likely to mean a continued environment of fear and anxiety among our immigrant brothers and sisters in Arizona. I ask all to join me in prayer for those who live with the reality of our nation’s broken immigration system every day.

It is truly unfortunate that we have come to a place where immigration policy is being adjudicated by the Supreme Court. The responsibility to create and implement a fair and just reform of our immigration system lies with our federal lawmakers. I will continue to pray that they will meet this challenge for the good of our nation.

Finally, I ask that as we continue our dialogue about immigration in the wake of this decision, we do so with civility and respect for each other. I know that there are strong feelings among our Catholic faithful on all sides of this issue. Our diocese’s Justice for Immigrants ministry is a great resource for understanding and discussing the Church’s teaching on immigration in a thoughtful and respectful manner. Please continue to pray and reflect on the call of our Lord Jesus that we reach out to the most poor and vulnerable among us. In them we truly see His face.

May God bless you.

Obispo Barnes y el mandato sobre SB 1070

Por Obispo Gerald Barnes
Diócesis de San Bernardino

Hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,

La Corte Suprema de los EE.UU. ha emitido su mandato referente a la ley de Arizona 2010 relacionada con la aplicación de la póliza de inmigración. El tribunal revocó la mayoría de la ley, declarando que la responsabilidad de esforzar la ley de inmigración no es de los estados, sino del gobierno federal. Este punto central del mandato es bienvenido y es coherente con la posición expresada por los obispos de los Estados Unidos.

Sin embargo, será necesario que los oficiales de Arizona, bajo la sentencia, revisen el estatus migratorio de las personas que detengan cuando se sospeche que no tienen la documentación apropiada. Esto significa un ambiente constante de temor y ansiedad entre nuestros hermanos y hermanas inmigrantes en Arizona. Les pido que me acompañen en oración por aquellos que viven cada día con la realidad del sistema migratorio de nuestra nación.

Es verdaderamente lamentable que hayamos llegado a un lugar donde la póliza de inmigración está siendo juzgada por la Corte Suprema. La responsabilidad de crear e implementar una reforma justa y equitativa de nuestro sistema de inmigración cae en nuestros legisladores federales. Voy a seguir orando para que enfrenten este reto por el bien de nuestra nación.

Por último, les pido que a medida que continuamos nuestro diálogo sobre la inmigración a raíz de esta decisión, lo hagamos con la civilidad y el respeto del uno al otro. Yo sé que hay sentimientos fuertes entre nuestros fieles católicos en los dos lados de este asunto. Nuestro ministerio diocesano de justicia para Inmigrantes es un gran recurso para la comprensión y discusión de la doctrina de la Iglesia sobre inmigración de una manera reflexiva y respetuosa. Por favor, continúen orando y reflexionando sobre el llamado de nuestro Señor Jesús que nos invita ha acercarnos a los más pobres y vulnerables entre nosotros. En ellos vemos Su rostro.

Que Dios los bendiga.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fun facts about John the Baptist

By Sister Mary Garascia, C.P.P.S.
Pastoral Coordinator, Holy Name of Jesus, Redlands


THE NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST is celebrated this Sunday. That is very unusual--this is the only saint that is given a Sunday celebration! Here are some interesting things about this feast day.

Interesting fact 1:  In the northern hemisphere, June 21 is the longest day of the year, so John’s feast occurs just after that, at mid summer.  December 22 is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the celebration of Jesus nativity occurs just after that.  St Augustine, who died in the year 430, drew a connection between this cosmic pattern, quoting what John the Baptist said about Jesus:  “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Thus the days start becoming shorter after John’s feast day, and days become longer after Christmas.

Interesting fact 2:  According to Luke’s Gospel, the angel Gabriel announced the conception of Jesus to Mary six months after announcing the conception of John. Therefore the Church set the date for Christmas Eve exactly 6 months after today’s feast day. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Interesting fact 3:  In some cultures, this feast day is an occasion for fun with water. For example, some cultures try to surprise people with water baths:  think water balloons or buckets placed on top of doors or squirt gun battles. In other parts of the world, some people stay up all night to burn St John’s fires, and the celebration goes on all during the next day.

Why is this saint’s birth given such importance in our Church calendar of feasts and seasons?  There are three people who were filled with the Spirit before their birth:  John the Baptist, Mary, and Jesus. Jesus himself praises John (Luke 7:18-35).  His ministry is mentioned in all four Gospels (Matt 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-10; John 1:19-28).

Our Liturgy Planning Committee would like us to focus on one saint each month during the long season of Ordinary Time — the counted weeks between Easter and Advent.   John the Baptist is a great saint for all of us because his life shows us what a disciple of Jesus really is:  someone willing to testify to the good news of Jesus, someone who knows he/she is not worthy to unfasten the sandals of Jesus feet, someone who is willing to confront evil, as he did in opposing Herod.

Throw a little water around today in memory of this special saint!

Cosas interesantes sobre Juan el Bautista

Por Hermana Mary Garascia, C.P.P.S.
Coordinadora Pastoral, Santo Nombre de Jesus, Redlands

EL NACIMIENTO DE JUAN EL BAUTISTA se celebra este Domingo. ¡Esto es raro! ¡Es el único santo al que se le celebra su fiesta en un Domingo! Veamos algunas cosas interesantes de esta fiesta:

1:    Junio 21 es el día más largo del año en el hemisferio norte y la fiesta de Juan cae días después,justo en la mitad del verano. El 22 de Diciembre es el solsticio de invierno, el día más corto del año y tres días después es la celebración del natalicio de Jesús. San Agustín, quien muriera en el año 430, encontró una conexión  entre lo que ocurre cósmicamente en estas dos fechas y lo que Juan el Bautista había dicho de Jesús:  “El debe crecer y yo disminuir.” (Jn 3:30); porque precisamente los días se vuelven cada vez más cortos después de la fiesta de Juan, mientras que se vuelven más largos después de la Navidad. 

2:     De acuerdo al Evangelio de Lucas, el ángel Gabriel anunció a María la concepción de Jesús, seis meses después de haber anunciado la concepción de Juan. Por esto la Iglesia fijó la fecha de la Nochebuena precisamente seis meses después de hoy. ¿Comenzaste ya a hacer tus compras de Navidad?
 
3:    En algunas culturas la gente se divierte este día con agua; por ejemplo:   tratar de sorprender a alguien con un baño de agua que le caiga al abrir una puerta, en cuyo quicio se ha colocado un balde con agua. Otras desatan batallas con pistolas de agua. En otras partes del mundo se acostumbran las candeladas durante toda la noche de la víspera de esta fiesta y continúan todo el día siguiente.

¿Por qué se le dan tanta importancia al nacimiento de este santo en el calendario de fiestas y temporadas de la Iglesia? Tres personas quedaron llenas del Espíritu antes de nacer: Juan el Bautista, María y Jesús. El mismo Jesús pondera a Juan (Lc 7:18-35) y su ministerio es mencionado en los Cuatro Evangelios (Mt 3:1-12; Mc 1:1-8; Lc 3:1-10; Jn 1:19-28)

Nuestro Comité de Planeación Litúrgica, quiere que nos enfoquemos en un santo, en cada mes de este largo Tiempo Ordinario, estas semanas entre Pascua y Adviento. Juan el Bautista es un santo importante para nosotros, porque su vida es un ejemplo de como debe ser un discípulo de Jesús: alguien deseoso de testificar las buenas noticias de Jesús, alguien que sabe que no es digno de desatar las correas de las sandalias de Jesús, alguien que está dispuesto a confrontar la maldad, como lo hizo él denunciando a Herodes.

¡Arroja hoy un poco de agua en tu  entorno, en memoria de este santo  especial!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Called to Carry on the Family Business

By Deacon John De Gano
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Riverside

What does it mean to minister in the church? It means to embrace your baptismal call and serve others in the spirit and love of Christ.

Each of us by our baptism has been re-born/adopted into God’s family and is expected to participate in the ‘family business’ (see Matthew 28:19-20 for details).

We are called to be priest, prophet, and king or queen (or, perhaps a better analogy would be a servant leader, like Jesus modeled for his disciples).
  • We fill our priesthood role through our participation at liturgies. Full, conscious and active participation, as the liturgical documents stress!
  • Not only do we come together as a community in the liturgy, we are also called to devour the word of God as proclaimed and ‘broke open’ in the homily, we are to live it, sharing God’s love in word, deed and action. Although we don’t always have to speak the word, our lives are to be evangelizing so that people might see how we live our lives and be spurred to ask us ‘the reason for our hope’.
  • And finally, we are called to be servant leaders, ministering to the hopes and needs of one another – challenging each other to be the best ‘us’ we can be for God.
For many, the concept of ministry can be frightening.

“What do I have to offer?” we ask. “I am not an expert on the Bible, church doctrine or even the six (or is it seven?) Sacraments. And just how much time are we talking about?”

“Fear not!” Jesus told his followers over and over. And we would be wise to heed Jesus’ words and promises. Jesus promised to be with us in all our trials. He promised to provide the words we might be called upon to speak and to comfort us in our adversity.

We, like Peter, need only step out of the boat… and Jesus will do the rest. When we do this, we will soon discover that walking on water is nothing compared to the lives each of us can touch through our participation in a ministry of the Church.

Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to ‘teach us all things.’ Isn’t it time to call in that promise? When we do we may even be surprised to learn that there are very few Catholics who ever receive all seven sacraments (I am one of them. Are you?).

The next time you are sitting in church, pick up a bulletin and look at the page of ministries in your parish. Ask yourself, “What are these ministries about? What do they do? Who might be a part of them? What special gifts would they need? Are they natural gifts or do they require some additional education or technical degree? Then ask yourself what you might have to offer that ministry. A compassionate heart? An ability to fix things with your hands? A hospitable spirit? A friendly smile? A willingness to give an hour or two, perhaps once a month, addressing envelopes or stuffing bulletins?

The amount of ministry isn’t as important as the quality of ministry that you do. If you offer your time, talent and/or treasure to the Lord you will be blessed for your generosity. If you want to make a difference in someone else’s life, you will find your own life enriched, as well.

You just need to get started. Go to the sink, splash some water into your face and renew your baptism promises – Reject Satan, evil and selfish desires. Believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and what they did so that you might have eternal life.

This is a wake up call.

Your Heavenly Father has chores for you to do