Greeting From Most Rev. Larry Silva, D.D.
“See, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)
When I was in high school and college, we studied the culture and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. We learned about their gods and the founding stories of these cultures. Never was it suggested that we should worship these gods, but that we should know about them because they could teach us much about ourselves as human beings and about the Graeco-Roman culture on which Western Civilization was founded.
Today we are asked to “see” that there is a new reality. The United States of America is blessed to be a country founded not only on Graeco-Roman culture, but it is a multi-cultural land with rich diversity. Just as we once studied only the roots of Western culture, we are now challenged to look at our culture in a new way, celebrating its roots that have come to us from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. These lands represent many ancient and modern cultures, with their own gods, myths and histories. We are no longer solely a Graeco-Roman culture but one that is richly complex, with many cultures interacting with each other to create something new.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, which I am privileged to chair, is charged with articulating the stories and cultures of these lands, from which many of our fellow citizens trace their roots. We have the responsibility of helping all to “see” the beauty of these cultures, so that the Lord can make something new by our appreciation of them. But this Subcommittee works collaboratively with the Subcommittees of African American Affairs, of Hispanic/Latino Affairs, of Native American Affairs, and of Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees & Travelers. This mutual enrichment is the Lord’s way of reminding us that “See, I make all things new,” so that we can all be renewed by seeing the other in that culture’s unique richness, and live together in harmony as a light to the world.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu
Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs