After my early morning departure from Fort Worth for Orange, I was blessed to spend December 3, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier with the priests of the Diocese of Orange for an Advent Day of recollection. There the priests and deacons of the Diocese presented me with a beautiful new staff and ring. Since these signify both the pastoral care of the Diocese, and the bond of the Bishop with the Diocese, I was deeply humbled and grateful to receive them.

The following days took me to St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California for a Board Meeting of the seminary, and a dinner with the seminarians and Advent Vespers. Of the 33 seminarians studying for the Diocese, there are approximately 11 studying in Camarillo. I thank Archbishop Gomez for his welcome and Msgr. Craig Cox, Rector, and long time friend and associate from the Canon Law Society.

The future Christ Cathedral Campus is already being used for a number of Catholic venues. Following the Magnificat Day last November 3, this past week saw the annual Vietnamese Catholic Community Christmas Concert. This Friday, December 14, will feature for the first time the Hispanic Christmas Novena for “Las Posadas”. Todos son invitados!!!Following the solemn vespers the evening before the Installation Mass at the “Arboretum” of the Cathedral Campus, and the Mass of Installation at the UCI Bren Center, I was blessed to attend a number of festivities for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The first was “mananitas” and Mass at the historic basilica and mother Church of Orange, Mission San Juan Capistrano. Msgr. Art Holquin was a most gracious host. That evening I was able to celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in La Habra California, thanks to the thoughtful invitation of Fr. Justin MacCarthy, Pastor.

This major feast day for all of the Americas gives us pause to reflect on how we are living the “new evangelization”, how the Mother of God enters our lives, and leads us to her Son. This day with the Scriptural words “He has not done thus for any other nation” [often seen at shrines of Our Lady of Guadalupe], can teach us how to live once more the evangelization of the world where we are.

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Mission San Juan Capistrano Las Posadas Celebration (VIDEOS)