THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE – USCBC
A CENTURY OF SERVICE- CALL TO HOLINESS
1917 - 2017
When we look back in history, it's not hard to recognize that many of those who have served the church are humble, with no glory for themselves and many times invisible to the rest of the world. Many of our priests, brothers and religious sisters dedicate themselves to educate, care for the needy and often living in poor conditions themselves, all for the glory of God.
We want to thank the Lord for all the work that our priests and bishops have done for us here in the USA. A century of hard work! One hundred years ago, in the middle of World War I, the Conference of Catholic Bishops was founded. Since then, the Conference has made possible for the Church in America to provide shelter and food and education for millions of immigrants and refugees. And most important, bring to them the Gospel. Thank you bishops for giving your lives to serve us! Thanks for showing us the right path to follow and to be missionary disciples here at home.
It will be impossible to cover in details all the accomplishments of the Conference through a century but I will like to highlight some of their efforts. First let's take the ministry of Prayer. They worked so hard since the call of Second Vatican Council with the Sacred Liturgy and the continuous translations to improve the understanding of the people at the pews, and also the revisions of the Roman Missal and translations of English liturgies. Another achievement is the revised edition of the New American Bible. Most of this work is behind doors but we needs to recognize the great work done for us to be immerse in God's living word.
Second let's take the Teaching of Faith. In 1992, St John Paul II opened a new chapter of the life of the Church when the new edition of the Catechism was done. They took good care on the translation in English and also that Catholic publishers presented them to schools, religious programs and faith formation classes. It was then, that they (USCCB) inaugurated the first committee on Catechesis and Evangelization. Shortly after, they produce the National Directory for Catechesis and later on the Catechism for Adults. This was a tremendous effort from them that took time and perseverance.
Third, the New Evangelization. Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical letter told us, "The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her threefold responsibility: proclaiming the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and exercising the ministry of charity". Through serving the poor, the homeless, the marginalized, and other afflicted people, we bring the love of Christ to the world.
In his first apostolic letter, Pope Francis told us that "the joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus". He asks us to reflect on the special place of the poor in God's people, on the economy and the distribution of income and our own concern for the needy.
Fourth, Good News for the Poor. The Bishops commitment to social justice and care of the poor is high priorities for the USCCB. They had produced much literature in the areas of peace and human development, social concern and care for the poor. If you go back to 1920 until now, you can see that they had played a vital role in helping shape legislation to protect workers, children and immigrants in this country.
And last, A Blessed Legacy. They had build communities, they are stewards of many resources, and they care for the environment and so many other gospel values. Their work extend beyond our country. They continue to help us to grow in holiness and be one with the Lord. Maybe one day we will experience the fullness of the kingdom in glory.
Note: This is a summary of article from Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Washington, DC.; as published in the Word Among us from September 2017.
Myrna Wong, Iris Gomez, Fr. Miguel Gonzalez