Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
In 2007, I interviewed San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez, the newly named coadjutor bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. One of the questions I asked him at that time was the primary ways that he uses the teaching office of the bishop. I also asked him about his priorities while in San Antonio. While those may not be his same priorities in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, they provide some indication of his style and what he sees as important.
“My time in Denver was a great time. Archbishop Charles Chaput is a wonderful man, mentor, and a wonderful example of how to be a bishop. He’s a brilliant teacher, so that helped me a lot to understand my role as a teacher of the faith,” said Archbishop Gomez. “What I started doing was writing a weekly column for the Denver Catholic Register. I’ve done that for our biweekly Today’s Catholic in San Antonio. I’m trying to use the media, newspaper, the Internet, and a monthly live television program on Catholic Television, where I address a specific topic and people call in. In Denver, I had a Spanish language radio program every Saturday. I’m really trying to use all the media tools to exercise my teaching office.”
“I try to be at the Cathedral every week for Mass and use my homily as a teaching tool,” added Archbishop Gomez. “With the priests, we have four presbyterate meetings every year where we have a dialogue on the issues of the day in the archdiocese. I try to work with them and talk to them about the things that are a priority.”
“One of my priorities is education in the faith,” he said. “Our challenge is that people do not know the teachings of the Church. My approach is to try to educate people.”
“In the Archdiocese of San Antonio we started a new marriage preparation program based on the Theology of the Body. It includes a series of talks on Natural Family Planning. I’ve also been very active on the issue of immigration, helping people to understand the teachings of the Church on those matters.”
He also mentioned the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which was the topic of his 2007 pastoral letter, The Tender Mercy of Our God.
“I believe that reconciliation is essential for the future of humanity,” he said. “It’s a concept that has been kind of forgotten or misunderstood in modern society.”