October 24, 2013
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is pictured during a 2012 “ad limina” visit to the Vatican, while he was serving as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Bishop Cantú will be the main celebrant for the diocese’s Year of Faith closing celebration. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis’ first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, will be the centerpiece of the closing ceremony for the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Fort Worth. On Nov. 24, an event celebrating the end of this jubilee year declared by now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, will take place at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Arlington. Special guests Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Monsignor Michael Olson, rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, will participate in the festivities which will begin with Mass and conclude with Evening Prayer. Father Carmen Mele, OP, interim director of Adult Catechesis for the Diocese of Fort Worth and Sister Inés Díaz, SSMN, delegate for Hispanic Ministry, are organizing the event and are hoping for a modest crowd of about 600.
Bishop Cantú will preside at Mass and preach in both English and Spanish, said Fr. Mele. After Mass and refreshments, Bishop Cantú will address Spanish speakers on Pope Francis’ encyclical Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), and Msgr. Olson will give a reflection over the encyclical in English.
Although a Houston native, Bishop Cantú has a connection to North Texas having earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas, before earning a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, he earned his STL (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) and Doctorate in Sacred Theology in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Bishop Cantú was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Houston in 1994 and named auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of San Antonio in 2008. In January of this year he was appointed bishop of Las Cruces.
Msgr. Olson began his tenure as rector of Holy Trinity in 2008. Though a native of Chicago, he came to the area when his family moved here in 1985 and was ordained a priest of the diocese in June of 1994. Interestingly, Msgr. Olson and Bishop Cantú are friends — both studied together at the University of St. Thomas.
“When we invited Bishop Cantú, I found out that he and Msgr. Olson were very good friends,” Sr. Inés said in an interview. “So it’s very nice to have them both here with us.”
The closing celebration will take place from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Organizers have requested reservations in order to have a head count, however potential participants can be assured that no one will be turned away at the door.
“Not having a bishop, the faithful of Fort Worth have not had many opportunities to respond to Pope Benedict’s initiative with the Year of Faith,” Fr. Mele said. “The Year of Faith was given a tremendous boost by the initiation of the pontificate of Francis. Although Pope Benedict tied faith and love intimately together in his writings, Pope Francis has been able to visibly link the two by his prophetic actions. He has reenergized the faith not only of Catholics, but of many Protestants and even non-Christians.”
So, then, what better way to conclude a year that started under the pontificate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI than by getting to know the mind and heart of Pope Francis? The aptly entitled Lumen Fidei clearly points to a continuation of the celebration of faith instituted by his predecessor.
“I think this celebration is a very good opportunity,” said Sister Inés. “We are going to finish the Year of Faith, but we must continue to grow our faith. Throughout the diocese we have tried so many different things to make sure that people have the chance to learn and grow.”
For more information, visit www.fwdioc.org/pages/year-of-faith. To register for the event, contact Irma Jimenez at 817-560-2452, ext. 360, or by e-mail at . Childcare will be available from 5 to 6 p.m. for those who make reservations.
Pope Francis’ first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, will be the centerpiece of the closing ceremony for the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Fort Worth. On Nov. 24, an event celebrating the end of this jubilee year will take place at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Arlington. Special guests Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Monsignor Michael Olson, rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, will participate in the festivities which will begin with Mass and conclude with Evening Prayer.