|For Release :
September 8, 2008
Text of Homily by
The Most Reverend John J. Myers,
Archbishop of Newark,
On the Occasion of the Episcopal Ordination of
The Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz
As Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
On the day of the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI was appointing Monsignor Manual A. Cruz as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, Bishop Cruz referred to himself as a "Cuban Refugee." Here in the Archdiocese of Newark we are privileged to be near some great world symbols. The Statue of Liberty is not far away. It is a beacon of freedom for the whole world. The Port of New York, which includes Ellis Island, is a symbol of opportunity and of hope for millions of people. Even though Bishop Cruz and his family came here via Florida, my own grandfather arrived from Europe through Ellis Island.
We continue to welcome our brothers and sisters from around our planet. They add much to the culture and energy of our great land and to the life of the Archdiocese of Newark.
We have deep gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for having appointed Bishop Cruz to serve among us in the Apostolic Office. We act in full communion with the See of Peter. In my capacity as Ecclesiastical Delegate to assist former Episcopalian bishops and priests who have come into full communion with Rome, I have had some deeply moving experiences. Consistently they speak to me of their concerns for their people and their love for the Christian tradition from which they come. But more often than not they make clear that the study of the Apostolic Fathers of the Church has led them to the clear conclusion that they must move into full communion with the See of Rome. They say such beautiful things, such as, "Even if I can never be ordained a Priest in the Roman Catholic Church, I want to die in full communion with the See of Peter." That certainly is the stance that we happily and freely embrace today as we follow the Holy Father's decision that Monsignor Cruz be ordained to the Order of Bishops.
We celebrate a day that is a feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary both in the universal calendar of the Church and, in a particular way, for the country of Cuba.
Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out that ordinarily the Church waits until after a person's death before celebrating a person's life. But the Blessed Virgin Mary is very different. Her birth is an exquisite exception since, as the Holy Father has said, "her soul was the space from which God was able to gain access into humanity." We are reminded by the prophet Micah that God had for eons intended to save the human race. The birth of Mary, who was free from sin from conception and throughout her life, was an integral part of that plan of God. Saint Paul reminds us also that God's plan pre-exists all our individual plans and that He will surely justify and glorify those whom He has called.
This is also the feast of La Senora de la Caridad del Cobre. This feast is a great testimony to the faith and devotion the of Cuban people, to the plan of God, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. In 1611 there had been a great storm near Cuba and a ship was overturned and sunk. Many people were in danger of drowning. The statue of Our Lady of Cobre was seen floating in the water. The people quickly perceived this as a sign of God's love which led to the safety of many hundreds of people. Today the statue remains a center of pilgrimage and devotion. Under this title, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the patroness of the country of Cuba.
Esta es también la festividad de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre. Esta fiesta es un gran testimonio de la fe y devoción del pueblo cubano, del plan de Dios, y de la Bendita Virgen María misma. En 1611 hubo una gran tormenta cerca de Cuba y una nave se hundio'. Mucha gente estuvo en peligro de ahogarse. La estatua de Nuestra Señora del Cobre apareció flotando en el agua. El pueblo rápidamente percibió esto como un signo del amor de Dios, que guió hacia un lugar seguro a muchos cientos de personas. Hoy la estatua permanece como un centro de peregrinaje y devoción. Bajo este título, la Santisima Virgen María es la Patrona de Cuba.
With the appointment of Bishop Cruz, the Holy Father has shown his fraternal love and affection for all of the Spanish-speaking people of the United States, and in particular for the hundreds of thousands whom we have here in the Archdiocese of Newark. Bishop Cruz, from the very beginning of his Priestly life, has cared in a particular way for Spanish-speaking people here in the great Archdiocese of Newark. We are deeply grateful that the Holy Father has recognized the pastoral needs of so many people here by appointing a Bishop, once again, who can attend to them. I do not want to ignore the many, many Priests and other ministers who help care for the Spanish-speaking. They have my deep and profound gratitude. We hope to find ways to be of even greater assistance to them.
In this year honoring the birth of Saint Paul, we recommit ourselves to his example of evangelization and welcome Bishop Cruz as a collaborator and a leader.