These days have been a busy and beautiful time in my ministry.
As I write, it is the ninth anniversary of my welcome Mass as coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles.
Who knows where the time goes? These years have been the joy of my life and I thank God for this privilege to serve the family of God here.
We are coming to the end of Mary’s month, and in these years in Los Angeles I have felt a growing sense of her loving presence in my life and her protection of this local Church named for her as the Queen of the Angels.
We are nearing the end of that happy time after Easter. After baptizing and welcoming many new believers at the Easter vigil, in these weeks after Easter I find myself celebrating three or four confirmations a week in parishes all across the archdiocese.
The Church is alive here in Los Angeles, and growing — I see it in the excitement of these young men and women coming to be confirmed.
They are hungry to know what God is like, and where they can find him, and how they should worship him, and what all of this means for how they should live. These young people are ready to follow Jesus wherever he leads. And they are inspiring to me in my own faith, my own walk with Jesus.
This month I also had the joy to install Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Brennan as the new bishop of Fresno, our neighbor to the north. And just after that, we welcomed a new bishop here, ordaining Auxiliary Bishop Alex Aclan.
We were joined in these celebrations by Pope Francis’ personal representative to our country, Apostolic Nuncio Christophe Pierre. His presence was a sign of hope, a reminder that every local Church is united by spiritual bonds to a Church that is universal and global and at the same time is a divine institution established by Christ on the foundations of the Twelve Apostles.
We celebrated, here and in Fresno, with joyful, festive liturgies, and simple gatherings of families and friends. There was fun and laughter and tears of joy.
For me, it was a personal joy to be with the families of Bishop Brennan and Bishop Aclan, to meet their loved ones and to realize how the loving example they saw in their homes gave birth to their vocations, their joyful faith, and sense of service.
During his remarks at his ordination ceremony, Bishop Aclan was visibly moved as he talked about his love for our Blessed Mother Mary. I will never forget that moment and the feeling of Mary’s maternal presence watching over all of us and our families.
I am getting ready, in the weekends to come, to ordain new priests and permanent deacons for the family of God. Once again, God has blessed us with fine men who love him and have a heart to reveal him to others.
We need to remember these graces, all these beautiful traces of God that we see in our everyday lives. I know I do.
Jesus promised to be with his Church until the end of the age and promised his Spirit to guide us. He will not leave us.
Jesus died for us, he rose for us, and now he walks with us. And if we know where to look, and how to look — with the eyes of faith — we will see that Christ is alive in his Church.
I see him working in the hidden sacrifices of priests, giving everything they have to bring Jesus to their people, to help them know God’s love and his plan for their lives.
I see him working in our parishes and chancery offices, in our schools and ministries and homes. There are saints and servants of the Gospel in all these places!
All around us, the risen Lord is still making things new, still changing hearts and minds, transfiguring this rough clay of our humanity so that we can partake in his divinity. Let’s ask God to give us the eyes to see that!
Pray for me this week and I will pray for you. Keep praying for the Church and working to renew the Church by your own holiness.
Let us ask Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, to help us every day to love Jesus more and to do everything for the glory of God and the love of our neighbors.