Aug 2, 2011 / 03:33 am
Immigration is an opportunity and a key to American renewal because it helps bring to light the Christian, Catholic missionaries’ “heritage of holiness and service,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told a gathering of Catholic leaders and laity.
“America is intended to be a place of encounter with the living Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said. “This was the motivation of the missionaries who came here first. America’s national character and spirit are deeply marked by the Gospel values they brought to this land.”
Archbishop Gomez presented his talk Thursday at the Napa Institute's first annual “Catholics in the Next America” conference at the Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort & Spa in California.
The meeting brought together 200 Catholic leaders, including bishops, priests, religious and lay people, to discuss the future of the Church in an increasingly secular culture and to enjoy time for fellowship.
The archbishop said that although America was founded by Christians, it has become home to “an amazing diversity” of cultures and religions that flourishes “precisely because our nation’s founders had a Christian vision of the human person, freedom and truth.”