Continuing our series on the episcopacy, today we hear from Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, the bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The question: What is the best thing about being a bishop in 2010?
For me, the greatest joy as a bishop lies in making sure that catechesis, the handing on of faith, continues in the diocese. Preaching of the Word of God is one of the principal ways through which the faith is handed on. Today we do so through both traditional and new means. I get excited when I see how new technologies make it possible for so many more people to be involved and participate at the events, programs and discussions going on in our diocese.
As a bishop, it brings me joy to see the influx of so many newcomers and its impact on the multicultural make-up of the Church in the United States today. Nearly every race, ethnic and cultural group on earth is represented in our population and in our Church. What a gift!
A great thing about being a bishop nowadays is to see that we are reaping the fruits of the Second Vatican Council, especially the love for the Bible and a new appreciation for the Liturgy, including the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RICA). People see themselves as part of the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints. Lay people are much more involved. They are anxious to get into formation programs and involved in ministries. We bishops have tremendous help from consultative bodies such as pastoral and financial councils, and the Church continues to have a strong prophetic voice.
Here in New Mexico, for example, we worked hard and succeeded together at getting the death penalty eliminated in the state. We will continue to promote life and other issues such as nuclear deterrence, immigration reform and health care.
It is a tremendous joy and a great honor to have been called to lead and work hand in hand with the People of God in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Tomorrow's interviewee: Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, New Jersey