The following comes from an October 12 story on Catholic News Agency.

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has written his first pastoral letter to his archdiocese, invoking the Catholic history of California and calling on Catholics to witness to the “New World of faith.”

“Los Angeles — like all of California and the Americas —is built on a Christian foundation. And today we are called to build on that missionary foundation to make a new evangelization of the Americas,” the archbishop said in his Oct. 2 letter, which was released Oct. 10, the eve of the Catholic Church’s Year of Faith.

“The world needs a new evangelization! The people of our city, our nation and our continent are waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ who makes all things new,” he proclaimed….

“We need to ask ourselves: Is our work leading men and women to Jesus Christ and his Church? Is the Christian faith spreading and is knowledge of the faith deepening through our programs and ministries?” Archbishop Gomez said.

The archbishop, who took office in March 2011, named five pastoral priorities: improving faith education, encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life, fostering Catholic identity and diversity, promoting a “culture of life” and strengthening marriage and the family….

Archbishop Gomez encouraged lay people to sanctify their work and see their daily activities “as the place where you meet and walk with Jesus.”

“Through our witness, let us make this truly a City of the Angels — a city of love and truth, where all can know that God is near in his love, and where the horizons of every life are open to his promise of salvation,” he said.

The pastoral letter also announced some changes in the diocesan administration.

The archbishop intends to create an Office of the New Evangelization. He will expand the mission of the archdiocese’s Office of Justice and Peace to include “defending innocent life against the threats of abortion and euthanasia.”

The archbishop closed his letter by asking for the prayers of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Angels.

Archbishop Gomez is presently in Rome for the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which will run until Oct. 28.

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