Five years ago, faithful of the archdiocese gathered at Main Plaza in front of San Fernando Cathedral on Pentecost to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and to proclaim a Pastoral Vision for the Archdiocese of San Antonio: “Encountering Christ, United as Church, Sent by the Spirit!”
Recently, on May 19, the Vigil of Pentecost, parishioners again gathered, this time at the Church of the Holy Spirit, with hearts filled with joy and gratitude for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit throughout these five years — and the 300 years of life and faith here in central Texas.
“Our archdiocese is consecrated to the Holy Spirit. Each of us needs to develop the inner freedom to accept the many, diverse gifts of the Spirit,” Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, told listeners that evening. “We need to continue to call upon the Spirit’s guidance in our life as a community of faith. We also need to listen attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to respond appropriately as individuals and as members of the Body of Christ.”
In the Gospel reading at the liturgy, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me…’rivers of living water will flow from within him,’ in reference to the Spirit that those who came to believe in him were to receive (Jn 7:28-29). “The Holy Spirit comes to us in baptism and confirmation,” the archbishop explained. “He leads us from inner drought through the life-giving water to produce abundant fruit as missionary disciples of the risen Lord.”
In the first reading from Genesis at the Mass, Babel was described as a place of chaos, alienation, and inability to communicate, illustrating that there are consequences of sin, leading to isolation rather than community, waste of precious resources instead of stewardship, as well as divisions and polarization. “We need to be able to dialogue with one another in order to solve our common problems. Dialogue demands mutual respect. Dialogue requires integrity; it does not expect us to abandon our beliefs and values but to listen to another’s understanding of what is happening, stressed the Missionary of the Holy Spirit. “None of us has the full truth. Mutual respect, in turn, demands that we trust one another to tell the truth! The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth!”
The San Antonio prelate lamented that society is bombarded these days with misinformation, falsehoods, and lies — in the public forum, in some of the public media, and in social media. “It is time for all of us to stop bullying, lying, and demonizing others,” he emphasized. “As Catholic Christians, we are challenged to allow the Spirit to come into our daily lives, giving us the courage to seek and speak the truth.”
The archbishop concluded by saying that Our Lady of Guadalupe is with us. “She teaches us how to say yes to God always, to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!” he closed. “Ven, Holy Spirit, Ven!”
Universal prayers at the liturgy were recited in German, Vietnamese, Nigerian, Malayalam, Korean, and Polish. And, prior to the conclusion of the Mass, the consecration to the Holy Spirit was again prayed, and a revised Proclamation of the Pastoral Vision was presented.
📷 Juan Carlos Rodriguez | For Today’s Catholic