Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During this Year of Consecrated Life, the challenge put forth by the Holy Father can be captured in the motto, “Wake Up the World!” It is a challenge that has been historically fulfilled in the lives and ministries of Consecrated Religious, particularly Religious Sisters.
In every generation, the Sisters have awakened within the young the desire to learn, to accumulate knowledge about God, our Creator, and all that the Lord has made. Seamlessly, they have woven together studies in science, literature and even mathematics with small, yet potent, doses of religion.
Whether they minister in classrooms or churches and chapels, in hospitals, slums, corporate boardrooms, or the thousands of other venues, Sisters have awakened our consciences, making us equally aware of the goodness of creation and the evils of human trafficking.
The recent conclusion of the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) ends a particularly painful episode in the life of the Church in the United States and in hundreds of women’s’ religious communities. But if some good can come from even the tragedies of life, we see this in the renewed emphasis on dialogue, engagement and mutual respect. As the Vatican’s appointed overseer of the process, Archbishop Peter Sartain’s work is to be commended because he embodied these values. Likewise, the leadership of the LCWR engaged in fruitful dialogue that resulted in an early conclusion of what was to be a five-year investigation.
We owe a great debt to the Women Religious who have been and remain for many the face of Christ, his hands, and his voice.
As we continue our recognition of the gift that Consecrated Life is to the Church and to the Diocese of San Jose, I invite our entire local Church to join with me in prayers of thanksgiving for the Women and Men Religious who serve and to ask the Lord to bless them in all that they do in his name.
With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,
Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose