Thursday May 24, 2018
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Dear Friends:
God is stirring good movement everywhere in the Diocese of Yakima.  I'm posting a kind of Christmas holiday post card based on my Facebook page of places I've traveled during this year's cycle of celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I've had celebrations at St. Ann in Bridgeport, St. Rose of Lima in Ephrata, St. Joseph in Yakima (both English and Spanish), San Juan Diego in Cowiche as well as St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima so just click on any of those parish names and view your postcard.


I'm very grateful to so many – especially from our Spanish-speaking communities – who've uplifted these Marian Church traditions.  In writing about the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II, noted biographer George Weigel suggested that the genius of Pope John Paul II is that he keenly understood that faith stands "inside" the culture – not apart from it.  Poland was preserved as a culture precisely because the Church helped preserve the language and literature.  
I think this is why Pope John Paul II had a special connection with Mexico.  It's so evident how "faith" stands inside the very best aspects of Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Here in the United States I sometimes sense that the English-speaking communities expect the exact opposite.  In letters, conversations and press interviews, I sometimes find that – in English – the expectation is that the faith should be measured by the culture – especially the political aspects of the culture.
More than one priest has noted that our people in English tend to identify more with their political identity than their faith identity.  They tend to slip into the habit of viewing their faith through a political lens – be that the left lens or the right lens – rather than viewing their world through the lens of faith.  Witness the utter inability of commentators on both the left and the right to grasp the message of our Holy Father Pope Francis and his recent Apostolic Exhortation through any lens but political. 
The spiritual dynamics I have had the privilege of witnessing as bishop here in Yakima these last two days while praying and worshipping during these celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe suggest that the Spanish-side of the Church has much to offer – especially on how to be present in the public space – if we're open to listening as did Saint Juan Diego.    
Just a few limited reflections to go with my pictures!
+Bishop Joseph Tyson