Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"The Quality of Our Love": With "A Renewal Vision," Archbishop Gustavo Begins

The expectations upon him as high as the heavens, 53 year-old Gustavo García-Siller took the reins of the Stateside church's traditional "Hispanic seat" -- the 750,000-member archdiocese of San Antonio -- this afternoon in a rousing Mass whose energetic vibe only served to underscore further the Mexican-born prelate's standing as, by far, El Norte's youngest archbishop.

Fittingly for a Missionary of the Holy Spirit, the tri-lingual liturgy -- where, in a first for the US, even part of B16's bull of appointment was delivered in Spanish -- employed the Votive Mass of the Paraclete... but another spirit was equally invoked during the celebration at Alamotown's St Mark's church: Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, the Mexican Jesuit martyred 83 years ago today by a firing squad while holding a crucifix in one hand, a rosary in the other.

As one longtime Gustavoite put it last night, "He just has this way of bringing you into a circle of love." Now, the grouping (already immense from the beloved prelate's host of ministry-fields over 26 years of priesthood) includes another three-quarter-million -- a historic, diverse, growing fold in the nation's seventh-largest city.

To see what they're in for, here below is fullvid of a homily that, after a few minutes' wind-up, got so forceful it whipped the zucchetto off the Arzobispo's head:

SVILUPPO: No video of it exists, but on its blog, San Antonio's Today's Catholic has posted the text of the archbishop's homily at last night's Vespers in the Plaza outside San Fernando Cathedral, reported to have drawn a crowd of over 2,000.

The paper's commemorative edition welcoming García-Siller is likewise up for downloading.

PHOTO: Edward A. Ornelas/San Antonio Express-News