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Voices Online Edition
November 1997: Volume XII, No. 3-4

Messages From Our Bishops

The 1997 Women for Faith & Family Conference was honored to receive the Apostolic Blessing from the Holy Father and message of Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, Pro-nuncio to the United States. In addition to the presence of Bishop Bruskewitz and Archbishop Rigali, we were most grateful that many of our bishops sent special messages to the Conference. We treasure these inspiring messages, and reprint them here for our readers.

I am pleased to learn that the 13th Annual Women for Faith & Family Conference will be taking place October 24-26 in St. Louis, Missouri and have the special privilege of conveying to you and to all the participants the heartfelt greetings and prayerful good wishes of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

I note with great interest this year's theme: The Year of Jesus Christ: Go and Tell What You Have Seen and Heard, for it is indeed a clear acceptance of the Holy Father's precious suggestion given in his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (As the Third Millennium of the New Era Draws Near). There His Holiness invites us in this first year of preparation for the great Jubilee of the Year 2000 to acknowledge with renewed faith the centrality of Jesus Christ, "the one Savior of the world, yesterday, today and forever" (No.40).

Earlier this month, on the occasion of his pastoral visit to Brazil for the Second World Meeting with Families, the Holy Father reiterated his call for spiritual renewal in Jesus. May the following reflections be a source of encouragement and inspiration during these important days of your Conference:

"Parents and families of the whole world, let me say to you: God calls you to holiness! He Himself has chosen you 'before the creation of the world', Saint Paul tells us, to 'be holy and blameless before Him ... through Jesus Christ' (Eph.l:4). He loves you passionately, He desires your happiness, but He wants you to be always able to combine fidelity with happiness, because one cannot exist without the other.... On the journey toward the Jubilee of the Year 2000, I invite all those listening to me to strengthen their faith and witness as Christians, so that with God's grace there may be true conversion and personal renewal in all the world's families." (from the homily of the concluding liturgy in Rio de Janeiro, October 5, 1997)

As a sign of his esteem and spiritual solidarity, His Holiness imparts to you and all the members of Women for Faith & Family his Apostolic Blessing, granted through the intercession of Mary Immaculate.

To the sentiments of the Holy Father may I add my own cordial greetings and prayerful best wishes.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the United States

I extend to you and to all the members of Women for Faith & Family my sincere greetings and best wishes on the occasion of your annual conference.

Each of us is commissioned to share in the mission of Evangelization. Families, in a very special way, have been divinely called to be evangelized and to evangelize others. This invitation is captured in your theme: The Year of Jesus Christ "Go, tell what you have seen and heard". This theme, which is being promoted worldwide, is very much in keeping with Pope John Paul II's request and in preparation for the great Jubilee Year.

I am deeply grateful to Women for Faith & Family for its dedication to protecting and strengthening the traditional family. I am also inspired by your faithfulness to the authentic teachings of the Catholic faith.

Please be assured that all those gathered for this conference will have a continued remembrance in my thoughts and prayers. May the Holy Family of Jesus watch over you always.

With prayerful best wishes, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Archbishop of Philadelphia

As this first year of immediate preparation for the Great Jubilee draws to an end, you will gather to reflect on The Year of Jesus Christ. In a special way, you will wish to consider how, as Women From Faith & Family, you can effectively convey the good news of Jesus Christ to our contemporary world.

As you listen to excellent speakers, and engage in prayer and discussion, it is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will overshadow you and fill you with joy and zeal for the Gospel.

Asking God's blessings upon each of you, I am

Sincerely in Christ,
James Cardinal Hickey
Archbishop of Washington

As the Women for Faith & Family gather to celebrate its 13th annual conference with the theme, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go tell what you have seen and heard", it is my special pleasure to personally thank you and all of the members of your organization for what you have done to promote the Church's teaching on the sacredness of the family. You have my respect and admiration for the witness that you have shown. Your generosity and compassion is an example to all who have been recipients of the unique service of Women for Faith & Family.

As you gather in St. Louis on October 24th to October 26th, be assured of my prayers for you and all who with you work so diligently to enrich the sacredness of life and the family.

Asking God to bless you, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bernard Cardinal Law
Archbishop of Boston

It is a privilege to greet the participants of the annual conference of Women for Faith & Family as you consider "The Year of Jesus Christ: Go, tell what you have seen and heard".

The first mandate, of course, is to be absolutely clear about what it is, or rather, Who it is that we have seen and heard. I commend Women for Faith & Family who have consistently grounded their prayer and activity on Christ Himself, the source of our Good News.

Second, as your theme indicates, we are called to go, to spread Christ's message with enthusiasm, joy, and great hope. In our very needy world, you bring a message that is radically counter-cultural, yet so basic in its foundation on faith, hope and charity. Thank God for your willingness to go before the world as witnesses to the promise we have seen and heard.

I join you in prayer, and plead for your prayers on my behalf that I may be blessed with your courage and fidelity.

With gratitude for all, and

Faithfully in Christ,
John Cardinal O'Connor
Archbishop of New York

Thank you for your letter of September 15, 1997 and your invitation to send greetings to your annual conference. I will be just returning from an international Conference on The Catechism of the Catholic Church and Catechesis, to be convened at the Vatican by Cardinal Ratzinger. I offer the following greeting:

"Greetings to all of you who are gathered for the annual conference of Women for Faith & Family. Thank you for your forthright support for the fullness of our Catholic Faith and the sacredness of Family Life. I especially appreciate your loyal and positive support in helping our families know the rich content of our Catholic Tradition. God bless all of you and your families!"

Assuring you of my personal appreciation and prayer for all of your efforts, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, O.S.B.,
Archbishop of Indianapolis

While I cannot be with you over the next few days, I want to congratulate you for the outstanding speakers and content which you've assembled. Women for Faith & Family has already added an important dimension to the on-going, national dialogue on renewing our faith.

Guided by charity and truth, I believe your current discussions will bear even more good fruit for the Church. Please be assured of my respect, my encouragement and my prayers.

May God bless each and every one of you.

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

I add my greetings and welcome to the participants of this annual conference of Women for Faith & Family.

Jesus is our Lord. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. It is we who are called to change; to become more fully disciples of His way and truth and life in our families, parishes and communities. There is a great opportunity, and privilege, in becoming more truly a disciple of the gospel in our ordinary work and in our daily ways of witness for Jesus and His Church.

The theme of these conference days joins together the theme for this year of preparation for the third millennium with Jesus' words to a man who wanted to follow Him after a miraculous cure. Jesus did not refuse the enthusiasm of this man. He gave it a familiar context: the man's own family and neighbors, His customary routine and circumstances.

The Lord asks much the same from you and me. He asks us to be enthusiastic about our faith, and our work performed in faith, where we are and with those we share life with on a regular basis. These days of conference offer inspiration and encouragement for our efforts and progress.

These days also offer incentive for each of us to identify how we can begin and renew our efforts to share Jesus Christ as we return home to tell what we have seen and heard about His truth and mercies.

I am sincerely yours in the Lord,
Most Rev. Elden Francis Curtiss
Archbishop of Omaha

How beautiful it is to find members of our Church who are interested in deepening their relationship with Jesus Christ, as His Gospel is articulated and proclaimed in the Church.

My prayers will be with you during that beautiful time that you will have together, and it is my hope that at the end of the conference each member will be filled with the zeal of your theme: "Go, tell what you have seen and heard."

Most Rev. Harry J. Flynn, D.D.
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

I was pleased to be able to present Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz to the conference of Women for Faith & Family. I was pleased also to be able to have a brief part in the assembly. It is my hope that the fruits of the conference will indeed be many, and that the reflections of those who attended will bring forth results for the good of our local Church and for the Church in the United States of America. I pray that all the members will indeed be conscious of our Holy Father's request that the Millennium be a time of total concentration on Jesus Christ. So many of the problems of the Church today are linked to an insufficient knowledge of, and love for, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Asking the Lord to bless your efforts and of all those who collaborate with you.

Most Rev. Justin Rigali
Archbishop of St. Louis

It is with great pleasure that I write to assure you of my prayerful best wishes for the 1997 conference of Women for Faith & Family. The title of the Conference,"The Year of Jesus Christ: Go, Tell What You Have Seen and Heard," is both fitting and inspiring, especially in this first of our three years of preparation for the Jubilee of 2000.

May the Lord and His Mother grant all of the participants in the conference the joy and peace of those who have heard the Gospel and announce it with total confidence.

With kindest regards, I am

Very truly yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Edward M. Egan
Bishop of Bridgeport

I greet you and all the Women for Faith & Family who will be meeting in St. Louis at the Holiday Inn-Clayton, from October 24-26. Indeed, I add my voice to the voices of so many who greet you at this time and express to you gratitude for your beautiful loyalty to the Church and to Our Holy Father and to the bishops of this country.

I am happy to send words of congratulation and appreciation to you and to all the Women for Faith & Family as you gather for your annual conference.

In this the year of Jesus Christ your witness to faith in Him and to the blessings granted families who welcome His presence continue to be a most powerful response to the command,"Go tell what you have seen and heard".

With warmest best wishes.

Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. John J. Glynn,
Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar for Chaplains

I am happy to send to you a congratulatory message for your annual conference, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go, tell what you have seen and heard", October 24-26, 1997.

That you have chosen the theme The Year of Jesus Christ is a reflection of your dedication to the words of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, as His Holiness guides the Church to the Third Millennium.

"Each family, in some way, should be involved in the preparation for the Great Jubilee. Was it not through a family, the family of Nazareth, the Son of God chose to enter into human history?" (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Pope John Paul II, no. 28).

Be assured of my prayers and support for your organization and its mission. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May I remain,

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Roberto Gonzalez
Bishop of Corpus Christi

May the assurance of our prayers rising from the altars of Northern Virginia be a support to you in your deliberations and a sign of our solidarity with you in your goals and aspirations.

Devotedly yours in Christ,
Most Rev. John R. Keating
Bishop of Arlington

Please extend my prayerful best wishes to all of those who will be attending the annual conference by Women for Faith & Family, which will be held in St. Louis from October 24-26.

This year's theme, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go tell what you have seen and heard" is appropriate since it echoes our Holy Father's message of evangelization as we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee Year 2000. All of us, by virtue of our baptism, are called upon to share the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Although I will be unable to be with you for the annual conference, please be assured of my prayers for all who will participate.

Asking God's blessings on you, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. William J. Levada
Archbishop of San Francisco

As you gather for the annual conference of Women for Faith & Family, I offer you my greetings, best wishes and prayers.

The theme of your gathering is taken from Tertio Millennio Adveniente. You focus on the Lord Jesus and His message of salvation.

As you reflect on the mystery of Jesus Christ,"the same, yesterday, today, and forever", I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you open wide the doors of your hearts to Christ. I pray, too, that Women for Faith & Family will continue to help many others in our country and beyond to discover Christ through membership and faithful participation in the life of the Catholic Church.

Assuring you of my prayers and with kindest personal regards, Sincerely in Christ
Most Rev. William E. Lori
Aux. Bishop of Washington

I send my greetings and prayers as you gather for your Annual Conference, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go, tell what you have seen and heard."

The Conference theme is a reminder that we must all be involved in the Church's mission of evangelization. Our nation, and many others, have become increasingly secularized and often unconcerned, if not opposed, to Christian faith and values. We must bring back to our world an awareness of the Gospel message. In a special way we must proclaim the Gospel of Life, and as Pope John Paul II urges us, to vigorously reaffirm the value of human life and its inviolability from conception to natural death.

I join in prayer with you during the days of your Conference.
With prayerful best wishes, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. James T. McHugh
Bishop of Camden

It pleases me to be able to greet the members of Women for Faith & Family as you assemble for your annual conference during this first year of preparation for the coming of the Great Jubilee. Your theme for this year's conference: The year of Jesus Christ: "Go tell what you have seen and heard" challenges you to become His witnesses in the world. No doubt some would say that you are voices crying in the wilderness, but that puts you in some very good company! The world is listening to hear what you might have to say.

May you all derive great benefit from this annual conference, and like the Baptist himself, "May you be great before the Lord and bring back many to the Lord their God."

You may rest assured that I shall remember you and all the other participants as you assemble in St. Louis.
With every good wish, I remain

Faithfully yours,
Most Rev. James M. Moynihan
Bishop of Syracuse

It pleases me very much to hear the happy news that the annual conference of Women for Faith & Family has chosen for its theme, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go, tell what you have seen and heard". This is certainly a most relevant theme for your reflection in this year of preparation for the beginning of the Third Millennium in the year 2000.

You have assembled a stellar cast of speakers beginning with my dear friend Bishop Bruskewitz and including several others who I both admire and count as friends.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and for all those who take part in this conference so that the good of Women for Faith & Family can continue to grow and flourish.

Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend William Murphy
Aux. Bishop of Boston

How well I remember the several times which I have been able to join you as you gather for your annual conference in St. Louis. Not only have I enjoyed visiting with you, but also there has been the joy of learning with you.

Congratulations on the continued growth of Women for Faith & Family and on your continued service to our Church. In an age when so many basic things are profoundly misunderstood, it is gratifying to know that women of faith continue to think through the complexities and stand for the truth. We are very grateful for all that you contribute to the life of our Church and to our society.

With kindest personal regards, I am

Sincerely in the Lord,
Most Rev. John J. Myers
Bishop of Peoria

Please be assured of my prayers for the success of the Women for Faith & Family conference. Gauging from your list of guest speakers, your days will be informative and motivating.

May both the Faith and family life in our nation find a renewal as a grace of your sessions.

In the Lord,
Most Rev. Edwin F. O'Brien
Archbishop for the Military Services

As Bishop of the Fall River Diocese, I greet those who will be a part of this year's conference of Women for Faith & Family entitled, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go tell what you have seen and heard."

Your dedication and fidelity to the Lord and His Church stands as a hallmark of your organization. Whether in defense of human life or family values, or the dignity of women, you hold a very significant role as teachers and communicators of the faith. Infusing God's gift of faith into your vocations, you bring to others, by example, the presence of Christ to a world longing for the light of His Gospel.

I join with the faithful of the Fall River Diocese in extending to all of the participants of the Annual Conference of Women for Faith & Family our prayers and support for all that you do in order to make visible the Gospel of Life in our midst.

With every good wish, I remain

Devotedly yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Sean O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.
Bishop of Fall River

I am pleased to learn that the membership of Women for Faith & Family will be meeting for their annual conference in St. Louis from October 24-26, 1997. The chosen theme, The Year of Jesus Christ: "Go Tell What You Have Seen and Heard", is most appropriate in preparing those assembled for the new Millennium and the opportunity of evangelization that it offers.

To be sure, the role of dedicated women and men is vital to the on-going renewal of faith that Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, continually mentions. It is when our hearts burn with enthusiasm for the Lord and His Gospel that we reach out to share that saving message with others.

My hope for your conference is that the splendid roster of speakers you have assembled will ignite the spark which brings that process of renewal. To this end, you may be assured of my prayerful support during the days of your gathering.

Cordially yours in Christ,
Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt
Aux. Bishop of Detroit

Warm greetings and prayerful best wishes to Women for Faith & Family and to my friend Helen Hull Hitchcock. You are to be congratulated for many reasons, not the least of which are your efforts to promote the teachings of our Holy Father Pope John Paul II concerning authentic Christian Family Life and the immeasurable worth of every human person.

May God continue to bless your important work.

Most Rev. Edward Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa

As you meet once again this year, I want to say without any hesitation to all of you who are associated with this providential organization that Women for Faith & Family has without a doubt stood the test of time, and has lived up to its imposing name.

Women of faith, women who hold fast the teachings of the Church, are ipso facto women of and for the family. If today we have faithful families in our midst, we may rightly look, with praise and thanks, to organizations and efforts like yours, to organizations and efforts for which Women for Faith & Family provides a shining model.

Most Rev. James S. Sullivan
Bishop of Fargo

I wish to extend to you and to all the members of Women for Faith & Family my congratulations and best wishes as you gather in St. Louis for your annual conference.

Our preparation for the Third Millennium is a wonderful opportunity to renew our faith in Jesus Christ and our service to the Church, His Body. The gifts we seek to share faith, hope and love are greatly needed in the world today. The fidelity of Women for Faith & Family is particularly encouraging and makes a lasting contribution to the work of the Church in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I hope and pray that the annual conference will be enjoyable, successful and inspiring for all who attend. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, May God bless your good and important work. May our Heavenly Father instill in you the wisdom to know what is right and the courage to do it always.

With prayerful best wishes,

Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin
Bishop of Youngstown

As you assemble for your Conference in the"Year of Jesus Christ" I am happy to have this opportunity to send my greetings and promise of my continuing prayers.

No doubt the name of Mother Teresa will be invoked frequently during your meeting. In these days when there are so many challenges to our faith and dangers to our families I love and pass on to you her simple words of faith and hope "Be only all for Jesus through Mary. Be holy."

God Bless You,
Most Rev. Thomas J. Welsh
Bishop of Allentown

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