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Dear brothers and sisters: In a spirit of heartfelt pastoral concern for the Asian and Pacific people in our midst, we Catholic bishops of the United States write this statement to all Catholics and especially to our Asian and Pacific brothers and sisters to recognize and affirm with loving assurance their presence and prominence in the Lord's house. We pray that this pastoral statement will facilitate a fuller appreciation of their communities in our local churches and will encourage Asian and Pacific Catholics to take on active leadership roles in every level of church life.
-- Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Welcome to the webpage for the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs (SCAPA). The subcommittee works collaboratively and intentionally with the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and other USCCB committees to "affirm the gifts and contributions of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelizing mission." (more)
As we approach the celebration of Easter, we experience again the joy and peace of the Risen Lord. The three women find the tomb empty but in faith know that Jesus continues to live. Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of Jesus and Salome are excited as they run to tell the other disciples that the Lord truly has risen and lives. The darkness of the crucifixion is diminished by the Lord Jesus, the Light who shatters all darkness. The Easter joy and peace, the enduring presence of the Risen Lord, echo throughout Holy Mother Church and inspire us to become the light, ambassadors of the good news for our families, in our places of work and communities.
It is no secret that we are living in a time where there is great polarization in our country and in fact too often animosity toward those who are different. So often immigrants are made to feel they are not welcome and people who are somehow considered different not worthy of respect. The values that are essential for our families and communities are undermined by these negative attitudes and behaviors. Often these have a sad influence on the people of the Asian and Pacific Islands.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis often reminds us that the good news of Easter is a joy ever new, a joy that is shared. We who experience new life in the Risen Lord are mandated to be the ambassadors of the good news, the evangelizers. We don't have to embrace or enhance the darkness of the world or be tarnished by the darkness. We have been graced by the Lord Jesus, the Light.
In his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, our Holy Father reminds us that "goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good." (EV #9)
As ambassadors of the Good News, as evangelizers, we have to make sure that this goodness has taken root in our own hearts. Only then can we foster environments of inclusion and respect, not only for those of the Asian and Pacific Islands, but also for those who are different from us. We have to reach out to make sure everyone experiences our warm hospitality and feels welcome in our communities. We are one family as Church, the Body of Christ, sisters and brothers equal in value, created in the image and likeness of God. That is truly the Good News of Easter, the joy and peace of the Resurrection.
We are truly blessed to be called to proclaim and to be witnesses to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Happy Easter and may the peace of the Risen Lord be with you!
Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis, D.D.
Bishop of Salt Lake City
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs
The Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs is under the direction of and assists the Committee on Cultural Diversity within the Church by working directly with the standing committee and collaboratively with other USCCB committees to affirm the gifts and contributions of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelizing mission.
This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:
The subcommittee is directly responsible for outreach to the Asian and Pacific Island Catholic communities and to work closely with the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers.
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