I am sharing with you now a recent document which describes the work of the “California Catholic Conference.” Each State has its own State Conference to represent the life and teaching of the Church in the public square. Many have not heard of this before, but in each State, the Catholic Conference not only represents the teaching of the Church but stands for the common good and life and dignity of the human person, and how this is impacted by legislation. Over the years, I have been involved with the Illinois Catholic Conference, the Texas Catholic Conference and now the California Catholic Conference. According to an article on the history of the California Catholic Conference published by California Daily, the ministry and work of the Catholic Conference here in California is described as seeking “…to apply the principles of Catholic social teaching — the common good, protection of the vulnerable, respect for human life and dignity – to legislation.”
CARDINAL DESIGNATE ROBERT MCELROY LEADS THE CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE AS PRESIDENT. PHOTO COURTESY OF CALIFORNIA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
I mention this specifically because for nearly three years now, as Vice President of the California Catholic Conference I have been grateful to work with now Cardinal designate Robert McElroy, as President of the California Catholic Conference. The Executive Director of the Catholic Conference is Kathleen Domingo, who works with the Executive Committee of the Conference: myself as the Vice President, Bishop McElroy as the President and Bishop Cantu of San Jose as Secretary Treasurer. Many Catholics from around the State are involved in legislative networking, relationship building and committee work in the living out and proclamation of the Gospel here in our State. These, without a doubt are challenging times for people of Faith. But the relationships forged through the California Catholic Conference are blessing and bridge building in witnessing to the Faith in the public Square.
But these words are a preface to personally thank Cardinal Designate McElroy for his ministry and work for the Conference. He and I have been involved in many decisions affecting our lives and ministry these years: I think especially the matter of the Seal of Confession, the bills that are challenges to Sanctity of Human life, and immigration and education matters, for example. But I also think of the work that has been done at the Conference level through the leadership of Bishop McElroy that has resulted in positive betterment for the faithful of all our Dioceses.
We pray for Bishop McElroy in his life and role. While we still continue to sing “California Here I Come”, we also can sing and pray, “Ad multos annos, gloriosque annos” that he be “blessed with the glory of God” in the years to come.
To get involved California Catholic Conference’s Catholic Advocacy Network, please visit: https://cacatholic.org/insights
To read the full article, California Catholic Conference – a history, visit https://www.cal-catholic.com/california-catholic-conference-a-history/