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Bishop Jaime Soto Coat of ArmsOpening Statement

by Most Reverend Jaime Soto,
Newly Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Good Morning.  Buenos días al Pueblo de la Diócesis del Santísimo Sacramento. Vengo para presentarme con ustedes y pedirles posada.  Vengo para servirles, convivir con ustedes, y en colaboración con ustedes anunciar el evangelio de Jesús.


My sincere thanks to the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, and Bishop William Weigand for their confidence in me.  I am very honored by this appointment as the coadjutor bishop for Sacramento.  This new turn of the road on faith’s journey with Christ Jesus fills me with anticipation as well as trepidation.  I ask for your prayers.


From the Southern Diocese of Orange, I have admired through the years the work of Bishop Weigand and the extensive pastoral ministry of the Sacramento Diocese.  The expanse and diversity of the Church’s evangelizing endeavors are daunting.  I come to partner with Bishop Weigand in the privileged task of shepherding this dynamic Catholic community.  I join my voice to his so that the words of the Gospel can continue to stir and challenge the heart with the Lord’s message of hope and joy.   I will learn from him how to steward the resources, talents, and aspirations of this vibrant Church.  I know that I can rely on his prayers as I assure him of mine while we minister at the Lord’s altar of gladness and joy.


The City of Sacramento serves as an important part of the life of California but no one in leadership should come here focused only on the frantic frenzy of the Capitol because what matters most to California is the rhythm and rituals of the our diverse homes and neighborhoods, the hum and whirl of our commerce and industry, the fruitfulness and freshness of our fields, the laughter and exuberance of our playgrounds, the ambitions of our youth, the hymns and harmonies sung in our Churches and temples, the sweat and sacrifices of all Californians whose hopes and aspirations are boundless.  This is what matters most.  It is where the faith, hope and charity of the Catholic people of this Diocese as well as all peoples of good will endeavor to lay the foundation stones of the Kingdom that is to come.


It is an exhilarating joy for me to cross the threshold of this magnificent Cathedral dedicated to el Santísimo Sacramento, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.   The Chalice blazoned on the diocesan crest calls our attention to the core of our creed, the God whose love knows no bounds, whose outstretched arms reach out from the cross to embrace every sorrow and anguish, hope and aspiration that tremors in the souls and minds of his children.  This Bread of Life and Cup of Joy are raised in every Catholic Mass as the measure and meter of our lives.  We are reminded to love because we are loved.  He has loved us first.  There can be no other consequence to our lives greater than returning his enduring affection by our charity towards one another and our ceaseless praise of his goodness. 


He cumplido veinticinco años de ministerio sacerdotal, los cuales han sido abundantemente bendecidos por la generosa entrega de los feligreses en la Diócesis de Orange.   A través de la convivencia dominical, semana tras semana, ellos me han enseñado el verdadero sentido de la Eucaristía como gesto elocuente de la caridad de Dios para nosotros.  Entonces ahora vengo a esta comunidad católica, dedicada así a la devoción al Santísimo Sacramento, con un aprecio por lo que esta devoción implica para nosotros y para este servidor: una gran reverencia por el Cristo presente en el Santísimo e igual presente en el prójimo, especialmente en el hermano marginado y olvidado.  Implica una comunión de vida y esperanza entre la diversidad de culturas y razas.  Urge una conversión de corazones para mejor recibir con gozo el reino de justicia y paz.


As I prepare to pass through the portals of this new adventure, my thoughts still linger on the family and friends in the Diocese of Orange who have carried me, caressed me, pushed me, and prepared me for this juncture of the journey when I would take the treasure of knowledge and friendship that has been so freely given to me and share this wealth with the Church in Sacramento.  Saying hello to Sacramento will be much easier than the good-byes I must still make to family and friends back in Orange. 


Yet as hard as this may be, I am mindful of a nephew of mine, Keith McNulty, who in these days embarks on a much more difficult journey.  He leaves this Monday to serve his country in the Marines.  He and his family as well as the families of the many men and women in the Armed Services deserve our prayers and support for the sacrifices they are making.


Les mando saludos a mis amigos y compañeros en la Diócesis de Orange para quienes este mensaje les sorprenderá después de tantos años de trabajar juntos en los caminos de fe y justicia.  Se me dificulta encontrar las palabras adecuadas para explicar porque el Señor a quien amo ahora me pida que lo siga a otra parte de su viña y que me despida de mi querido pueblo.  Confío en el acompañamiento de sus oraciones y como siempre tendrán las mías.  Supliquen, por favor, a la poderosa intercesión de la Virgen Madre de Guadalupe por este servidor suyo.


I am not sure what the future holds but I am sure that there will be plenty to do and lots to learn.  I look forward to many good years in the Diocese of Sacramento.  The days and weeks ahead will be a time for acquainting myself with the laity, religious and clergy of the Diocese.  I hope to hear their stories and discover how God’s wisdom and grace is revealed in the histories of the many families, parishes, and communities that make up this vast Diocese.  I will rely on their kind hospitality to let me be a part of their lives as we work together weaving the future with the hope and joy of the Gospel.  I come ready to hear them, ready to pray with them, ready to serve Christ in and through them.


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