Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
God’s people have always been called to journey. Abraham was called to leave his home country, journey to a new land, and trust God. Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, journeying through the desert for 40 years to the cusp of the Promised Land. Jesus journeyed from Galilee to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission of salvation for the world. St. Augustine notes that “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and God’s consolations” (Civ. Dei, 18, 51; LG 8).
Our local Church, too, in the Diocese of San Jose, has journeyed 40 years in faith, in hope, and in love. As we look back at our history, we appreciate God’s presence and work among the diverse people in Santa Clara County. We recall the numerous persons – lay, religious, and clergy – who carried the banner of faith, of education, of social justice, and of outreach to the less fortunate.
Let us acknowledge that in our present, dynamic reality – increased secularization, racial and economic inequalities, and a global pandemic that has altered nearly every aspect of our lives – God continues to walk with us and unites us in Christ. Therefore, our jubilee is not only a year of celebration, but also a time renew our commitment to Christ’s mission as missionary disciples.
Moving forward, we must build on the rich legacy of these forty years and the fertile ground that many have tilled to address current challenges. We will work to enhance the vibrancy of our parishes, schools, and ministries throughout the Diocese for the next forty years and beyond. We will look to proclaim the Gospel boldly in our richly multicultural valley by encountering others where they are, witnessing our faith in community, and living our vocations fully, all the while remembering that God promises to be with us on our journey.
I invite us all to listen deeply to the voice of the Holy Spirit in this year of Jubilee, as God calls us to rededicate ourselves in new ways so the work of the Gospel might transform the world. Happy 40th Anniversary! May we journey together in hope!
Most Reverend Oscar Cantú
Bishop of San Jose