.- Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond has launched a video blog to deliver weekly messages to area Catholics. His first message reflects on his hopes for the future and what he has learned in his first year an archbishop. His next video will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
"On most days it's hard to believe it's been a year already," Archbishop Aymond says in his first video. He added that it was his “humble privilege” to serve as archbishop, especially since he is the first native son of New Orleans to hold the office in over 200 years.
He also admitted that he has not been to all the parishes of the archdiocese as he had hoped he would, but he intends to fulfill the promise he made.
Speaking of the state of the archdiocese, he said “the Catholic Church is alive and well” and continues to be a “strong, strong presence” in New Orleans and beyond.
The archbishop has said he has been “overwhelmed” by the fraternity of the priests and by the “wonderful welcome” he has received from the priests, religious and laity.
Turning to the challenges facing the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Archbishop Aymond cited rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, responding to the effects of the Gulf oil spill, and addressing those hurt by the archdiocese’s pastoral plan to reorganize its churches.
Discussing his goals for the future, the archbishop said he would like to “tweak” the pastoral governance structure better to serve parishes and Catholic institutions and would like to build on the “wonderful relationships” he has formed.
He added that he would like the archdiocese to have a local synod.
The archbishop also advocated continued outreach to those who are away from the Church, noting the “Catholics Come Home” campaign planned for Lent 2011. In the archbishop’s words, this campaign provides the opportunity to say to absent Catholics “We’re sorry the Church hurt you. How can we welcome you back?”
Discussing young adults and youth, the archbishop said he was “very impressed” with these “leaders of tomorrow.” Noting how many young people want to combine their faith with their professional lives, he said they make him “very, very hopeful” about the future.
A new video blog entry from Archbishop Aymond will be published weekly at the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ web site, the archdiocese said. The website is located at http://www.arch-no.org