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.