Yesterday was a big day for the Catholic Church in the United States. The largest Catholic Archdiocese in the country learned who their new Archbishop would be. Archbishop Jose Gomez current Archbishop of San Antonio Texas will take over after Cardinal Roger Mahoney retires at age 75 in Los Angeles. I had the privilege to meet Archbishop Gomez last August in San Antonio at our Life Teen Inspiration event at Six Flags Over Texas Theme Park! He was the main celebrant at the Mass that day.
Here is what I recall of that meeting. I remember how graciously he handled the sad situation that nobody had greeted him to bring him back to the Amphitheater where he would be celebrating Mass with the 1200+ teens in attendance. The set up there is tricky as you park a long way away from the outdoor covered amphitheater. He greeted me warmly even after a long walk and then prepared to celebrate Mass. It was an amazing Mass that day. Archbishop Gomez gave a homily based on the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives as roller coaster’s filled with screaming park guests could be heard in the background. Archbishop Gomez was gentle, focused and genuinely moved by the depth of prayer of the teens that day. It was as if the frustration of the long walk from parking, the screaming park guests, the heat (after all it was San Antonio in August) were no match to the sight of that many teens silently praying after communion. As Matt Maher and his band hit the chords of our closing song Archbishop Gomez beamed, sort of Pope John Paul II like, when he was in the presence of young people. I remember thinking – Archbishop Gomez loves teens – he truly loves them. As he was leaving that day – he told me to invite him again and shared his desire to serve.
So what does Archbishop Gomez’s Appointment require of you?
It’s simple and the glimpse he gave us that day in San Antonio holds the answer.
Pray - Pray for Archbishop Gomez. Pray that he won’t be distracted by the noisy world around him and that he will continue to lead with a gentle but firm focus on the Eucharist.