What Would You Discuss with Your Bishop?

Today, I’m asking for your prayers in anticipation of a very special meeting. In February, 2012, our Diocese of Fresno welcomed our new spiritual shepherd, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, D.D. For several months now, I’ve been desirous of a meeting with my Bishop and today my appointment has finally arrived. While I’ve met Bishop Ochoa numerous times at liturgies and various social engagements, today will be our first extended conversation. I requested this meeting because as a Catholic author, blogger and speaker, I seek the spiritual approval and support of Bishop Ochoa to continue the work I do both online and in dioceses around the country.

This meeting has been several months in the making. Bishop is still very busy, as he continues to serve his flock in El Paso, Texas until they have a new shepherd appointed. Until that moment, he has been jetting back and forth between Texas and Fresno, doing the work of two Bishops. His calendar is very busy, so I’m greatly honored that he would take time to meet with me. In anticipation of our meeting, I’ve drafted a resume-type overview of my work and will present that for his approval along with copies of my books. It’s important to me that Bishop Ochoa understand the nature of what I do and that I continue with his approval.

I’ll be honest. I’m nervous. While I don’t anticipate any objections on the Bishop’s part to my work, I’ve been asking myself how I would possibly respond if he did not grant approval for me to continue. Honestly, I take my commitment to my work seriously, but if there were an objection of some type I could not continue in good conscience. Perhaps many of you do not know that when a speaker speaks outside of his or her home diocese, he or she is often required to receive formal approval from the Bishop. For me, this is more than a simple bureaucratic requirement. The moment I lose respect for my spiritual shepherd and the hierarchy of the Church should definitely be the moment I “resign” from this work. Hopefully that day won’t come any time soon.

I’ll follow up with you after my meeting, but for the moment I’m asking that you kindly send a prayer my way at 1:30 pm Pacific time. Let God’s will be done…

Also, I would love to know what you would ask your Bishop if you had the opportunity to sit with him for a bit of a conversation. Would you discuss questions of faith, current events, his hobbies (or yours) or your family life? Let me know in the comments below.

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

  • http://www.thepracticingcatholic.com Lisa Schmidt

    Lisa, prayers for you! Come, Holy Spirit!

    • http://www.thepracticingcatholic.com Lisa Schmidt

      Oh, and to answer your question directly, I would ask my bishop the following: “Your Excellency, what is your favorite meal?”

      And then I would extend an invite to our house for dinner and plan to prepare that meal for him!

  • Karen Pontrelli

    Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for asking.
    if I had the opportunity, I would ask Bishop Tobin (RI) why we don’t hear about pro-life issues at church, the HHS mandate, nor did we hear anything regarding voting with a Catholic conscience during the elections.
    All important issues, but were never mentioned.

  • http://inspiredangela.wordpress.com Angela Sealana

    Lisa, I’ll be praying for you. Pray, hope, and don’t worry! :)
    Yes, in my experience, bishops appreciate meeting their flock on a personal level, not just business. I think they get their fill of “business” and administrative meetings. He’s not just your spiritual boss, after all; he’s a father.

  • Elizabeth

    I would ask why we have so much politics within the church and the diocese itself, and in parishes, which divides people and creates barriers to proper Catholic Christian formation. Of course I will have my examples too, but I will keep them quiet here. We need to do what it takes to keep the Catholic message and faith in society in a profound and meaningful way, but how…when so many pastors care primarily about only letting the laity arrange the flowers. It takes a special way.

  • Ted Seeber

    The very great need in the blogosphere for theological peer review. And not-so-peer review.

    A good censor and a system that can feed “submitted”, “rejected”, “not reviewed”, and “approved” icons to an image tag keyed to a given website, would be a great start.

  • http://wwwseattlehelpers.org Matt Ulrich

    Hi Lisa,
    I just finished a letter to my Archbishop asking for an appointment, but also asking for
    his prayers in a prayer mission beginning the first of the year to ask people to pray 1 hour
    a week in front of the abortion site or in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Also asking for
    him to lead us in prayer at a prayer vigil at the abortion center in our area.
    I will pray for you Lisa, and you pray for me. Deal!

  • Aggie Catholic

    Hi Lisa-

    One word, Leadership.

    The Church Militant is begging for leadership.

    Specifically I would ask:
    1)Why do we only see our Bishop in person once a year ( during Confirmation) if we are lucky? Blessed John Paul II went all over the world seeking his flock. This is the example the Bishop should follow. Bishops should preach from every Church pulpit in their Diocese at least four times a year. The Bishop should delegate duties at the Diocese level and be out and about the flock. The Bishop should meet with with parishioners in the parish and outside the parish to discuss with them the Church teachings. Bishops, teach us the non-negotiables, do not delegate this entirtely to your priests and write prose to be inserted in the Church bulletin that is ignored. The laity is responsible for change in our culture but we must be lead. Bishop, you are our shepherd.
    2) Can a person constantly and publicly disavow Church teaching and still be in communion with the Catholic Church? The Church Militant sees public figures deny Church teaching and mislead the public with impunity. Is it any wonder why many Catholics no longer follow the teachings of the Church. The hierarchy, under the banner of compassion I suppose, has become a toothless tiger. The Church has allowed public figures to define Church teachings.
    3)When are the Bishops going to enforce the mandatum on Catholic colleges and universities? Is it too much to ask that professors teaching the Catholic faith believe what they are teaching?

    Our Lady of Victory Pray for Us.

  • Michael Healey

    I would ask him if there is any movement to systematically change the programs on the formation of our youth and young adults to arm them with the truth of the magesterium so that Catholics properly formed can evangelize the world in a loving and caring fashion.

  • Leslie Lenko

    As there is always a need for new vocations to the priesthood and religious life, I think it would be great to ask what Catholics moms can do to better promote homegrown vocations in their home, parish and community. It would be good to have feedback from the bishop and see what fresh new directions he might see on this. How exceptional that you will have the grace to meet with him. A chance to be a voice for us moms!