Homily for Mass on Peace and a World

without Nuclear Weapons

By Bishop Oscar Cantú

Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki • August 9, 2015


It is a great honor for me to be here with you in this historic cathedral and at this moving commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the bombings that devastated so much of Nagasaki. As I meditated on today’s readings, I was ... READ MORE


United States Conference

of Catholic Bishops

Promotion and Defense of Marriage

Message from Most Rev. Oscar Cantú

Bishop of Las Cruces

August 3, 2015



Dear Catholics of the Diocese of Las Cruces,


Last Sunday explosive devices were detonated at two distinct churches in Las Cruces: Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church. The device at Holy Cross was detonated during 8:00 a.m. Mass - precisely during Eucharistic Prayer, at the words of Institution. Within several minutes the police arrived on the scene and ordered the church evacuated. Msgr. John Anderson, who was presiding at Mass, proceeded to the other side of the street with his parishioners and there offered prayers for peace and safety.


For over 24 hours authorities searched the premises for other explosive devices and to gather evidence. I was impressed with their thoroughness and professionalism. It will surely take some time for the authorities eventually to find the perpetrator(s) and discover the motives of these criminal and violent acts.


We extend our prayers for and solidarity with our Baptist brothers and sisters. They will remain in our prayers. As for Holy Cross Parish, we are very close to Msgr. Anderson and his parishioners in our thoughts and prayers, as they recover from the trauma of having their most sacred moments violently disrupted last week. We pray that, though with increased vigilance, the parish community will return to its routines of worship, formation, service, and community building.


I ask our pastors, deacons, and parish leaders to exercise increased vigilance in our parish surroundings and activities. Let us all be aware of any suspicious activity and report it to proper authorities. Let us do this with heightened awareness, but without alarm. It is important that as much as possible we all return to our routines of parish, school, and community activities - yet with prudent caution and awareness.


In discussion with out pastors last Monday, we realized a need for training in emergency preparedness in our parishes. We will certainly do so in order that our parish and Catholic school leaders can be prepared to respond to any emergencies that may arise.


Let us pray for each other. Let us pray for peace. Let us pray for the perpetrator(s), that they might discover the joy of peace and forgiveness and leave behind the frustration of hatred and violence. We pray for our first responders and those who work to maintain the peace. We pray for strength and healing.


+Oscar Cantu

Bishop of Las Cruces

August 3, 2015

Important news from the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church


Call for Action!

Justice for Immigrants National Call-in Days to the White House Request!


Please call the White House today at 1-855-589-5698 and give this message: "Please do not appeal the July 24th federal district court ruling to release families in detention and please end the government's practice of family detention of immigrants."



On July 24, 2015, Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California ruled that current U.S. family detention policies violate a 1997 legal settlement known as the Flores Settlement. The Flores Settlement set the standards to be used by the U.S. government regarding the detention, release, and treatment of all children in immigration detention. To comply with Judge Gee's order, the government must reverse the family detention policies and dismantle the facilities it instituted last year, and release from detention accompanied children together with their parents.


In a USCCB statement released on July 27, 2015, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, welcomed the ruling and "(urged) the administration to comply with expeditiously" and not appeal the decision. Moreover, Bishop Elizondo said, "Hopefully, the court's decision will end the suffering and further traumatization of these families. The detention of families is unnecessary, inhumane, and unworthy of our nation."



Again, please call the White House today at 1-855-589-5698 and give this message: "Please do not appeal the July 24th federal district court ruling to release families in detention and please end the government's practice of family detention of immigrants."

July 2, 2015

Statement on the Supreme Court Marriage Decision

Most Rev. Oscar Cantu

Bishop of Las Cruces


Every human person is created in God's image and likeness. As such, society has a responsibility to respect the inherent dignity of every human person - including those who disagree with us, those who are homosexual, and those who disagree with the Church and live according to their homosexual inclinations. That being said, respecting individuals, even those who disagree with the Church's teaching on sexuality, is not the same as redefining marriage. The decision of the Supreme Court will have far-reaching and adverse affects on society, on institutions, public schools, and families. This decision not only affects gay couples wishing to marry; it affects everyone and will attempt to force those of us who believe that marriage can only be contracted between a man and woman to accept decisions that betray our conscience.


The Supreme Court is wrong—the Constitution does not require states to redefine marriage. The Court’s decision will not stop public dialogue; the debate will and must continue. Like Roe v. Wade, this decision will not end public debate. No one and no court can make what is false true. Marriage by its nature remains the union of one man and one woman—this is a matter of reason, not just faith.


Man and woman were designed by God for each other, and only a man and a woman can form a union that brings forth children. Redefining marriage in the law is gravely unjust and affects everyone, especially children. Moreover, marriage is the one institution that connects children to their mothers and fathers.


One of the effects of law is that it teaches, and this ruling will make it more difficult for future generations to know the truth about marriage and for children to understand their origins. Mothers and fathers are irreplaceable; this ruling does not respect the rights of children to be raised, where possible, by their own married mother and father in a stable home. Changing the definition of civil marriage affects thousands of laws at once, endangering the religious freedom of institutions and individuals who hold the authentic meaning of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. We will continue to strive to ensure that all of our pastoral practices are consistent with the authentic teaching of the Church. This includes the practices of Catholic institutions.


I call on the Church to pray for family life and on all people to strengthen marriage. With renewed purpose we call upon all people of good will to promote and defend the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. I ask that we increase our efforts to strengthen marriages and families and rebuild a marriage culture. Let us pray for all the future victims of this ruling, particularly children. The Church will continue to reach out with love and support to all people, including those who who are homosexual. All people are loved by God and are called to love Him.

June 30, 2015

The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops

Statement on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


We stand with the many New Mexico’s families who live in poverty and experience hunger. Our state has among the highest rates of hunger and poverty and it is very alarming that more than 30% of our children are experiencing hunger. READ MORE

June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Decision On Marriage “A Tragic Error” Says President Of Catholic Bishops’ Conference


WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).


June 10, 2015

Bishops briefed on rollout of environmental encyclical at spring meeting


ST. LOUIS -- Pope Francis’ coming encyclical on the environment will represent “a significant moment in the life of the church,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Wednesday during the annual spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Wenski and Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., briefed their fellow bishops on the papal document... READ MORE

Every week the Pastoral Center Staff holds one of our parishes or special groups of the faithful in our prayers. To see for whom we pray this week, see our Facebook page.

"Where will you take your place

in proclaiming the Good News?"

United in Ministry 2015

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