New San Antonio archbishop asks Catholics to listen for God’s call

November 29, 2010

San Antonio, Texas, Nov 27, 2010 / 07:19 am (CNA).- Catholics should be open to God’s call while remembering that Christianity can be countercultural and “unsettling” for the modern world, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said at his installation Mass in San Antonio, Texas.

More than 1,800 people attended the Nov. 23 Mass at St. Mark the Evangelist Church, where the former auxiliary bishop of Chicago was installed as the sixth Archbishop of San Antonio.

At the Mass, papal nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi read an apostolic letter from Pope Benedict XVI confirming his appointment. He also presented the 53-year-old archbishop with a crosier which had belonged to Archbishop Jerome Droassaerts, Archbishop of San Antonio from 1918 to 1940.

“Today marks a new beginning in the wonderful history of the Catholic faith in this local church of San Antonio,” Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said in his homily.

He recalled the early Franciscans who evangelized the region, including Venerable Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus and Fr. Miguel Calvo. He also voiced “special gratitude” to his two predecessors, Archbishops Patrick Flores and Jose Gomez, while also noting the diverse non-Hispanic Catholic immigrants who have come to the city throughout its history.

“In short, we thank God that, for nearly 400 years, the Roman Catholic Church in Texas has continued faithfully to proclaim the Good News here. We also rejoice that a personal and deeply pious Catholic religiosity has matured here, including the beautiful devotion of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our Mother, la Morenita.”

He then expounded upon the readings for the Mass, the first of which was the story of God’s calling of Samuel.

“God always speaks first. That is the way it should be. Creation is to listen attentively and respond appropriately,” the archbishop explained. Because Samuel was open to God’s call, “something new began in the history of salvation.”

Archbishop Garcia-Siller connected this to his own response to hearing that Pope Benedict XVI wanted to appoint him to San Antonio.

“I immediately felt real peace and joy tempered by a deep awareness of the great responsibility I had been asked to embrace. I felt, in faith, a deep affection for you, the people of the Archdiocese of San Antonio,” he said.

The second Mass reading, about the apostles and the first day of Pentecost, showed the disciples experiencing “something very wonderful” that they needed to share with the whole world.

“No one is excluded from their proclamation that Jesus is Lord, that God loves all people, that all of us are sisters and brothers, beloved children of the one God, for God alone is able to feed the deepest hungers of the human heart,” the archbishop explained.

The fact that some bystanders thought the apostles were simply intoxicated with wine reminds Christians that their message is “countercultural” and can be “profoundly unsettling and even threatening to some,” he said.

“Ignorance, fear, and insecurity feed racism and hatred toward the stranger. The worldly pursuit of possessions, pleasure, and power militate against the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience,” he lamented. “We live in a deeply divided nation and region where the notion of brotherly love may seem quaint and naïve.”

Rather than withdraw into ourselves and seek only our own personal good or “defiantly” stake out our own position while ignoring common ground with others, the archbishop urged reflection on the gift of the Holy Spirit.

“My friends, it is the Holy Spirit that enables the community of faith to proclaim the gospel, to attract a crowd, to have something to say worth hearing. The wind blows where it will. God has the power to accomplish in our midst what he wants – in spite of all obstacles.”

This is possible only when Christians are open to God’s word and are in a loving relationship with Jesus.

“We are to love God fully, holding nothing back. And to love one another as Jesus has loved us – continuously, without limits, throughout our life,” he exhorted. “My brothers and sisters, I do love you, and I am willing to lay down my life for you!”

He urged those assembled to be “Spirit-filled and Spirit-led missionaries of the gospel in the world.” Entrusting his mission and ministry to Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession, he concluded:

“May the quality of our love for one another bring out to everyone that we are truly the Lord’s disciples and missionaries!”

He closed with the phrase “Viva Cristo Rey!”, the last words of the martyred Mexican priest Bl. Miguel Pro, whose feast day coincided with the installation Mass.

The San Antonio archdiocese reports that installation Mass attendees included Archbishop Garcia-Siller’s 76-year-old father, Gustavo Garcia Suarez, and his 75-year-old mother, Maria Cristina Siller de Garcia. Many siblings and relatives of new archbishop, the eldest of 15 children, also attended.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and the apostolic nuncio to Mexico concelebrated the installation Mass with several other Texas bishops.

Pope Names Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Garcia As Archbishop Of San Antonio

October 15, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of Chicago, 53, Archbishop of San Antonio.

Archbishop-designate Garcia-Siller, a native of Mexico, is a member of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. He was superior of the congregation’s United States and Canadian province, “Cristo Sacerdote,” when he was named an auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 2003.

The appointment to San Antonio was publicized in Washington, October 14, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Gustavo Garcia-Siller was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, on December 21, 1956. In 1973, he entered the Holy Spirit Congregation in Mexico City. He studied at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and holds master of arts degrees in philosophy, divinity and psychology. He was ordained in Guadalajara, June 22, 1984.

He served at St. Joseph’s Parish in Selma, California, from 1984-1988, and then studied at Western Jesuit University, Guadalajara. From 1994-1999, he was rector of houses of studies of his order in Lynwood and Long Beach, California; and in Portland, Oregon. From 1999 to 2002, he was Rector of the theologate house of his congregation in Oxnard, California, and also served
in three parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was named superior of the Holy Spirit Congregation’s province in 2002.  As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he has served as a member of the Subcommittees on African-American Affairs and Hispanic Affairs.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio comprises 23,180 square miles. It has a total population of 2,315,988 people, of whom 702,547, or 30 percent, are Catholic.

Pope Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Sansaricq of Brooklyn

October 7, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) —Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation from office of Bishop Guy Sansaricq, until now auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, New York, due to age limits.

Guy A. Sansaricq was born October 6, 1934, in Jeremie, Haiti. He studied for the priesthood at the diocesan seminary of the Jeremie Diocese and at St. Paul’s Pontifical Semirary in Ottawa, Canada.  He was ordained a priest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1960.

After serving as chaplain for Haitians in the Bahamas, where he became especially aware of the plight of immigrants, Father Sansaricq studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a master’s degree in l971. That same year he was accepted into the Diocese of Brooklyn and was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Brooklyn, where he served for 22 years. During that time he was also appointed diocesan coordinator of the Haitian Apostolate. In l987, he was selected by the U.S. Catholic bishops to head the National Haitian Apostolate.

In l993, he was named pastor of St. Jerome’s Church in Brooklyn. He was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in l999, and appointed auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn on June 6, 2006.

Bishop Sansaricq is the only Haitian-American bishop in the United States.

The Diocese of Brooklyn comprises the Kings and Queens Counties in the State of New York, and extends over 179 Square Miles. It has a total population of4,787,708, of whom 1,436,312 are Catholic

Pope Accepts Resignation of Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Catanello

September 21, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) —Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of auxiliary Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law, outlining the retirement of a bishop for reasons of health or other serious reasons.

Bishop Catanello’s retirement was announced September 20 in Rome.

Ignatius Anthony Catanello was born July 23, 1938 in Brooklyn. He studied at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York. He pursued graduate studies at St. John’s University, Brooklyn, and at New York University, where he earned a doctorate specializing in religious education.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on May 28, 1966. He served as diocesan ecumenical chairperson, secretary and vice president of the Council of the Priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn and as a member of the Diocesan Mission Apostolate Committee and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and titular bishop of Dealtum on June 28, 1994. He was ordained a bishop August 22 of that year.

The Diocese of Brooklyn was established in 1853. It comprises 179 square miles in the State of New York. It has a population of 4,798,388 people, with 1,440,000, or 30 percent, of them Catholic.

Archbishop Koch pledges unity with Pope as he assumes new Vatican post

September 2, 2010

Vatican City,  (CNA).- The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is not an entity independent from the Pope, its new president confirmed on Wednesday. Archbishop Kurt Koch spoke with L’Osservatore Romano newspaper about some of the highlights from his meetings with the Pope this past week.

Archbishop Koch told L’Osservatore Romano (LOR) on Wednesday that the meeting of the Pope’s former theology students was “a concrete, lively and positive experience.” He said that the participants’ conclusion after examining the reform of the Second Vatican Council over the weekend was that “(l)oyalty to tradition, openness to the future: is the most correct interpretation of Vatican II, which remains the magna carta of the Church also in the third millennium.”

As a result of the “interesting and rich” debate, he explained to LOR, the members were able to see “how the spiritual dimension is fundamental in every aspect of Christian life. “And this is true,” said the archbishop, “from my point of view, also in the ecumenical dialogue that constitutes the field of work most directly before me.”

At the end of June, Archbishop Koch received the call from Rome to move from his place as auxiliary bishop of Basel, Switzerland to lead the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Although he shared few details of his audience with Benedict XVI on Monday morning, the archbishop did tell LOR that he and the Pope spoke about his “new ecumenical challenge because the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is not independent (from the Pontiff) but it has a mandate from the Pope to see how dialogue may develop in the future.”

Exiting the presidency of the council earlier this summer, Cardinal Walter Kasper said looked to the future of dialogue “with hope, which is not human optimism, but Christian hope. The “torch” of unity, he added, passes on to a new generation that “will surely look at the dialogues undertaken with new eyes.”

Texas Bishops Host Scripture Seminar on the Holy Spirit from Genesis to John

August 3, 2010

SAN ANTONIO, TX (MetroCatholic) - —The Texas Bishops’ 27th Annual Scripture Seminar will be held at the Oblate Renewal Center in San Antonio, Texas on October 18-21, 2010. This year’s seminar, titled “The Long Road to the Pneumatology of John - The Holy Spirit: From Genesis to John” will feature guest speakers Rev. George T. Montague, S.M., S.Th.D., a professor at St Mary’s University and author of over twenty books on both the scholarly and popular level, and Rev. Juan Alfaro, S.S.L., an author and teacher at local colleges and universities in San Antonio who also conducts biblical workshops in 45 dioceses.

The program will include program sessions on the following topics:

  • From the Exile to Jesus: The Spirit Wakes the Dry Bones, Rebuilds Israel
  • Paul: Dynamic Theologian of the Holy Spirit
  • The Spiritual Gospel and the Last Supper Discourse
  • The Spirit and the Glorified Jesus

In addition to scholarly scripture study, the Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, DD, Apostolic Administrator and Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of San Antonio will celebrate Mass with Seminar attendees during the conference.

The Texas Catholic Conference encourages priests, deacons, religious, directors of religious education, Catholic school principals, religious education teachers, and anyone interested in learning more about scripture to attend.

The registration fee is $175 per person for the 4-day conference and covers the cost of seminar materials as well as some meals. A limited number of rooms are available at the Oblate Renewal Center. A complete registration brochure with more information on the speakers and Seminar program is available at For more information  contact Becky Sierra at (512) 339-9882 or [email protected].

Pope Names Auxiliary Bishop Joseph McFadden to Harrisburg; Announces New Auxiliary Bishop for Philadelphia

June 24, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Pope Benedict XVI has named Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Joseph McFadden, 63, as Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and named Msgr. Michael Fitzgerald, 62, Judicial Vicar of the Metropolitan Tribunal of Philadelphia, as an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia.
The appointments were publicized in Washington, June 22, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop McFadden succeeds Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who was named Bishop of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, last November.
Joseph P. McFadden was born in Philadelphia, May 22, 1947. He attended St. Joseph University and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 1981, and an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia in 2004. He served in parishes in the archdiocese and as spiritual director at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was a member of the Archdiocesan Committee for the Ongoing Formation of the Clergy.
As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop McFadden has served on the Committee on Catholic Education and the Task Force on Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice.
The Diocese of Harrisburg, includes 7,660 square miles. It has a population of 2,027,835 people, with 244,073, or 12 percent, of them Catholic.
Michael Fitzgerald was born May 23, 1948, in Montclair, New Jersey. He attended Bishop Kenrick High School in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. He was awarded  a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in 1970, a Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University, 1973, and a Master of Divinity degree from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1976.
He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 1980.
Bishop-elect Fitzgerald earned a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America in 1989, and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University, Rome, in 1991.

After ordination he was Assistant Pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Philadelphia, 1980-1981; Assistant Pastor, St. Callistus Parish, 1981-1982; and later worked in the archdiocesan tribunal. He was director of the Office for Legal Services, 1991-2004, vice rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 2004-2007, and in 2007 was named judicial vicar.

Cardinal Mahony will Celebrate Mass for Immigrants, March 21, in Washington

March 17, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, will celebrate a Mass for Immigrants, March 21, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington. The event coincides with the “March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith” organized by diverse communities of faith demanding comprehensive immigration reform.

WHAT: Mass for Immigrants

WHEN: March 21 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church (Upper Church)—19 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC (corner of N. Capitol and I Streets; Union Station Metro)

WHO: Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles
            Bishop  John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration
            Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia
            Bishop Francisco González, SF Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
            Father  Allan Deck, SJ, executive director, USCCB Cultural Diversity Office

The Mass is organized by the Justice for Immigrants Campaign ( of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Following Mass, organizers encourage Catholics to participate in the “March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith,” 1-5 p.m. on the National Mall.

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