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Convocation delegates sent home to imitate Jesus in reaching the margins

09 PAGE 7.13.17_convocation.chancery.delegation.natlThe Archdiocese of San Francisco chancery office sent a delegation of 14 people led by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone to the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” in Orlando, Florida, July 1-4. Delegation members represented leaders from the departments of pastoral ministry, communications, administration, education and vocations. Back from left: Jesuit Father John Piderit, Lorena Melgarejo, Father Charles Puthota, Melanie Morey, Jan Potts, Pamela Lyons, Father Moises Agudo, Ed Hopfner, Julio Escobar. Front: Anelita Reyes, Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice, Archbishop Cordileone, Vicki Evans, Social Service Sister Celeste Arbuckle. Not pictured is Carolina Parrales. (Courtesy photo)

July 13, 2017
Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jesus took a few loaves and fishes and turned them into a feast for thousands, offering the church an example of faith in action, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in sending 3,500 delegates home from the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.”

In the face of adversity and naysayers in today’s world – not unlike the apostles who wondered how they would feed the masses – the church is called to take what they have, as Jesus did and reap the rewards of achieving great things in the face of the impossible, Cardinal DiNardo, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in his homily during the convocation’s closing Mass July 4.

Citing the Gospel reading from John (17:11, 17-23), the cardinal also urged the delegates to reflect on how Jesus during the Last Supper reminded the Twelve Apostles that he will pray for all who believe he is the savior that they may be united in one family under God.

The cardinal urged the delegates to engage in their ministry humbly and to realize that they are nourished in their work through the body and blood of Jesus at Mass.

“We leave here (at the altar) nourished and refreshed and we go and do what we have to do,” he said.

As the Mass ended, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., congratulated convocation participants for a lively and invigorating four days.

Archbishop Pierre also said in his upcoming report to the pope that he would explain that “the Spirit is alive in the church in the United States.”

14-member San Francisco delegation

Members of the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s 14-person delegation were chosen because of their leadership roles in outreach and ministry, vicar for administration Jesuit Father John Piderit told Catholic San Francisco.

In preparation for the convocation, delegates reviewed and discussed Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which lays out a vision of the church dedicated to “radical, missionary evangelization.”

The convocation was intended to help Catholic leaders set a new course for the church. But according to Father Piderit, the archdiocese won’t be setting off in any new directions as a result of the convocation.

“For us it was a little bit different in that we went in with a strategic plan and components of a pastoral plan already completed,” he said. “We went into it knowing that this would probably influence some of the things we are doing but probably not the major initiatives we are undertaking in the next few years.”

Father Piderit said one possibility for change is that the chancery itself will serve a more “evangelical” function.

Christina Gray contributed

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