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May this blog 'connect' us as the 'body of Christ'

A new eucharistic prayer says: “Keep your church alert in faith to the signs of the times and eager to accept the challenge of the Gospel.”

Blogs are a sign of the times. Peoples of the world are able to communicate instantly with others in the global village. Today, the Archdiocese of Miami embraces this sign of communication. Each week our readers will interact with me or Father Manny Alvarez, seminarian Luis Rivero, Sister Silvia Tarafa, Mrs. Cheryl Whapham, Gloria Luna and others. We are honored to start with this first set of authors, which as you can see reflects the different states of life in the church. More names will be added to this roster.

You are invited to submit your comments to all the blogs. We hope to get back to you, and through you, to the hundreds of readers who will be part of the conversation.

This bold initiative of our Communications Department takes place on the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St. Paul. This is more than a coincidence. For Paul, the Good News needed to reach all peoples. He kept connecting new and diverse communities through letters, greetings and messages. The love of Christ impels us, he said. It is the same love that animates us in this blog project.

A unique feature of being a bishop in the Archdiocese of Miami is being in contact with a vast variety of faith communities from Key West to Deerfield Beach, from Miami Beach to Weston or Kendall. This variety reflects the beauty of the potentialities of the Spirit of God renewing his church. I dream that this new blog will connect us — the Body of Christ — better and more often. I dream that our conversation will reach not only those in the boundaries of our archdiocese but the entire planet —because now, it is possible.

Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Miami

Comments from readers

Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D. - 08/25/2008 09:46 AM
Martha Zelaya
Yes your idea of using our blog to learn more about St. Paul is sound.
This 2000 anniversary of his birth in Tarso (today Turkey) has produced a great momentum. I think this grace is related to John Paul II's dream for the new evangelization in all continents of the world and to Aparecida"s call for a Continental mission in America and for the next International Synod on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church which begins in October in Rome. The Gospel is for all!

Father Alejandro Roque, Pastor of St. Stephen
Your comments on how hurricane Andrew revealed such solidarity in the Catholic community helped me to remember how true that was. The Archdiocesan 50 years Jubilee has given us Samples of that unity amidst our diversity. I hope we will also show that unity in voting in November in favor of Amendment 2 which seeks to protect and enhance marriage as God intends for us.

Photo Phil - 08/24/2008 10:36 PM
Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez thank you for the opportunity to use technology for good purposes. I look forward to being connected via this blog. In Jesus through Mary.
Peace!
Luis E. Bertot - 08/24/2008 06:26 PM
I meet Father Esteves many years ago and he intrigued me with his great eloquence and dynamic manner of communicating. He like wine has become better with time. This as any other church endeavor may it serve God and be for the betterment of mankind
Fr. Alejandro Roque, OMI - 08/23/2008 06:44 AM
Greetings Bishop Estevez... Saludos a todos desde 'Mi Rinconcito del Reino de Dios en la Parroquia de San Esteban'.

Les escribo al amanecer del Sabado, 23 de Agosto '' decimo sexto aniversario del impacto del Huracan Andres en el Sur de la Florida. Me parece mentira todo lo que ha pasado desde ese amanecer del dia Lunes, cuando un huracan categoria 5 impacto y desvasto esta comunidad. Son muchos los recuerdos que me vienen a mente... lo duro que fue la reconstruccion. Pero tambien vi tantas bendiciones en medio de esa horrible tragedia.

Recuerdo que antes de la tormenta habia mucha desconfiaza entre los diversos grupos que componen esta sociedad (incluyendo la Iglesia donde soy parroco.... entonces yo era vicario). Cuando la Beata Madre Teresa de Calcuta vino a MIami y hablo en la Parroquia de San Francisco Javier en Overtown ante un diverso publico de Lideres Comunitarios, Eclesiales, Laicos y curiosos ella dijo algo como: "Miami, una ciudad tan linda por fuera con sus bellos edificios... pera tan fria y vacia por su falta de amor!"

La desvastacion de toda esa 'belleza' sirvio para romper las barreras entre las gentes y por primera vez y reconocernos como creaturas de Dios. Vi a todos trabajar juntos, olvidandose si eran cubanos o latino-americanos, norte-americanos, afro-americanos, etc. Desde ese momento en adelante hubo una gran evolucion en el espiritu de la gente en San Esteban en Miramar, al igual que en todas partes de Miami que fue para el beneficio de la sociedad.

Me gustaria que los que somos mas viejitos comentaran sus recuerdos para las futuras generaciones en este tema... especialmente por el papel tan importante que tuvo nuestra Iglesia Catolica en la reconstruccion de nuestra ciudad y comunidad '' fuimos los primeros en ayudar en el area de Homestead... y los ultimos en salir!

Bendiciones y 'Shalom' para todos!

Padre Alex Roque, OMI
Martha Selaya - 08/21/2008 12:44 PM
Most Reverend Bishop Estévez: It is wonderful to have this blog set up to communicate so openly. There is so much to learn in order to live the life God is waiting with much love and patience, for us to follow. I admire tremendously St. Paul. You and some of the Apostolic Movements of our Archdiocese have offered different seminars to learn more about St. Paul, but sometimes it is rather difficult to attend because of other work commitments. I'd like to suggest if you can make available through these blogs a workshop to know better, to know more about St. Paul. With great admiration for all your work..... Martha Selaya
Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D. - 08/21/2008 11:59 AM
Jorge Egues
I hope the Squires will also connect with our blog.

Patricia C
Affirming the other has a great synergy. Fifteen years after being a priest I received a grace to accept love from my flock; this grace was very liberating and made my promise of celibacy more fulfilling.

Luis
Thank you for your suggestion. My vote goes to St. Paul.

Felipe Barreda
From this day on I will be praying for Victor Nicholas. In my daily rosary the names of the sick come to my heart.

Todd
We will need to discuss your idea. At times we need to give reasons of our hope to others even for our own convincing…

Andrew Meszaros
Your comments are very constructive and will enable others to participate

Sue Deferrari
Our Spiritual Center Morningstar is a cool resource also.
I look forward to my day of recollection next January there on St. Paul.

Steven
Benedict XVI is an example in engaging in vigorous debate the only limitation is that at least myself I do not possess vast knowledge and time for research and I need time to think things carefully.

Harold Dopico
Thank you. Newman said we are a link in a chain; this blog enables us to see it.

Monica Vega
Blessings to John Paul when I see him your little baby my heart rejoices.

Cira Aguilar
Gracias por tu apoyo. Ya hice una peregrinacion a la tumba de San Pablo en las afueras de Roma y alli experimente la gracia de este jubileo

Mirian Novoa
A teacher is not forgotten. Thank you for your interest. Today I met with one of your students. She came to introduce her fiancée to me. Catholic education is fruitful in a wider scope of time.

Claudio
Thank you for your suggestion. We will improve.

Lucia Mor
I share with you the same hope that is why I said yes to the invitation.

Msgr. Tomas Marin
Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your involvement in EWTN to share teachings on issues of bioethics or explaining to the great audience Benedict’s visit to us last spring. You will be surprise to know that even in Sidney I was reading our bloggers. They informed me a lot.

Claudio Croce
I still do not know you personally but I am grateful for your openness to comments received.

Chuck O’Halloran
I see your point on internet and print media. I am finding an enriching complementary taking place.

Rene Medina Sr.
The wind is one of the most enduring images of the Spirit. I will never forget your comment.

Sara Torres
I thank you for your encouragement. Your music filled with quality lyrics help our evangelizing efforts.

Luis
Thank you for your patience and your hope that we will grow your comments are always welcome. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

Bernardo Garcia-Granda, MD
Thank you for your encouragement. May the spirit of St. Francis help us.

Lisette Lantigua
Yes you are right John Paul the Great was not afraid of technology as long as it helped the dignity of humans and the common good.

Isabel Lopez Healy
I share your objectives which are very clear

Frank Pages
Your words affirm me and I thank you for your eyes which see the invisible.

Maria Teresa Lopez
I am like you. I am thrilled the future generation seeks God boldly.

Irvin
Thank you for you enthusiasm. We feel something new is emerging. John Paul II used to dream of a civilization of love.

Antonio Fernandez
I was very happy to read your message and think of your beautiful marriage and family.

Alexandra Medina
When I read your first two words I wondered if you were writing from China. I even thought could it be someone from the Olympics?

Walter
I like your circles of audiences…and there are many others.

Francisco Javier Camps
Bendiciones a ti y tu bella familia. Recuerdo a tus nietos quienes me ayudaron en el altar.

Helena Ruiz
You are on target we hope God will be all in all our efforts

Javier Plumey
Thank you for your encouragement and constructive ideas.
I hope to know more about your show.

David
Your patron saint is great. I am glad we have a parish in his name.
He witnessed in his own body the love of the Crucified. He dedicated to the Immaculate his remarkable printing apostolate.

Chris Wills
You understand deeply the impact of media communication and the difference Catholic media can make in people’s life.
Jorge Egues - 08/19/2008 10:13 PM
God Bless your leadership! I pray that these discussions will closer unite all believers to action. May it build our confidence by knowing that we are not alone in our desires to bring Gods will to earth as it is in heaven.
Patricia Connelly - 08/19/2008 09:51 PM
My beloved Bishop Estevez, it was with great humility I write these words to you, receiving your first invitation to join the blog and explain how it will work. It is a great iintroduction to those of who do not blog. This is the site that I will begin blogging. Our faith and love in Jesus Christ and the community through the church of loving one another, brings great joy in my heart, and I look forward to the blogs to come. I know of your travels, and feel so blessed every time I see you at different places. I get so excited because you exude the holiness of Christ, and His Golden Dream of loving one another.. You are truly the face of God. YDIC Patricia
Luis - 08/19/2008 03:13 PM
Your Excellency and Dear Mr. Croce,
I know some people have suggested improvements (I being one of them) Hang in there! This is a great beginning and if anyone deserves a blog it is our Archdiocese! I pray that you are able to incorporate some of the recommendations without too much difficulty. Have you considering dedicating the blog to the patronage of a saint? If I am not mistaken St. Isadore might be the patron of the Internet.

Luis
http://faithandreasoninmiami.blogspot.com
Mr. Barreda, you, your son and your whole family are in my prayers tonight.
Felipe Barreda - 08/19/2008 01:01 PM
Dear Bishop Estevez:

Thank you for this gift of communication. May the Lord bless this endeavor. I also ask for prayers for my son 23 month old son Victor Nicholas Manuel Barreda who is suffering with Leukemia. God bless, Felipe
Todd - 08/19/2008 10:33 AM
I think this blog is a great idea! I do hope however that "equal time" will NOT be given to points of view that are different than the Catholic Church’s. I could just read the mainstream media for that.
Andrew Meszaros - 08/19/2008 10:18 AM
There are many Catholic blogs out there and I must say, this one is the hardest to read I've seen so far. And the format is very restrictive. There is no sense of overview here, it is just a long string of comments running down the page. I say these things with sincere charity, not to be dismissive, but to provide some honest constructive criticism. Let's hope it will improve with time. Also having to sign up anew every time you comment is curious. There are better ways to screen out unwanted comments and spam.
Sue S. DeFerrari - 08/19/2008 09:49 AM
Greetings Bishop Estevez and all who have joined!
What a great initiative!!! Thank you for the invitation to continue to build up the community of faith in such a "cool" way. Looking forward to meeting you all here.
Steven - 08/19/2008 09:47 AM
This is an excellent idea. I hope that those who control the forum will allow for vigorous debate and an honest exchange of ideas, even on difficult issues. May it become a portal of Christ's light and truth, shining through the darkness that often pervades the internet...
Harold Dopico - 08/19/2008 01:42 AM
Thank You for presenting yet another way for Catholics to ask, comment, and overall network together, and share our Love for our Faith. May the Lord Bless this new and exciting form of interacting. God Bless everyone at the Arcdiocese of Miami. In Jesus and Mary, God Bless, Harold.
Monica Vega - 08/18/2008 11:04 PM
Wow! We have such a hip bishop!!! =) God bless you, Bishop Estevez, for being our modern-day Paul. We love your blog!

A WARM EMBRACE FROM YOUR FAMILY AT ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH AND CATHOLIC STUDENT CENTER IN CORAL GABLES!

P.S. Rigo and John Paul send you their love! <><
Cira Aguilar - 08/18/2008 10:50 PM
Que maravilla seguir comunicando el mesaje de Nuestro Señor, a tantas personas como lo hizo Pablo, que lindo detalle al celebrar el Año Santo de San Pablo, que El guie y proteja a todos los que tienen esta mision evangelizadora.
Mirian Novoa Rodriguez - 08/18/2008 10:30 PM
My beloved Bishop Estevez. It is so wonderful to see the Archdiocese getting with the times. This is a great way to communicate with people all over our community that we may otherwise never encounter. I look forward to reading more from you and Manny and all the others scheduled to make their appearance.
With love from your old St. Agatha faculty. :)

Claudio - adding the RSS would be ideal.
Lucia Mor - 08/18/2008 10:00 PM
Dear Bishop Estevez:

This initiative will open communication between the Church and the People of God (the people in the pews). This blog will give equal access to all to express opinions, ideas and concerns. May we take this opportunity to reach out to each other in Faith, Hope and Love in Christ Jesus. Lucia M. Mor
Msgr. Tomas M. Marin - 08/18/2008 09:35 PM
Bishop Estevez, What a wonderful way of celebrating the Jubilee year of St Paul by beginning this new communication tool in the Archdiocese. The Blog during World Youth Day helped me live that wonderful experience so that even when I was watching the events on EWTN I was able to also live the background experience of the people from the Archdiocese of Miami in Australia. I look forward to following the experience of each of the participants in this new Blog and I hope we can tell the story of the Archdiocese and our ministry here to the World. Blessings to all of you, Tomas Marin
Claudio Croce - 08/18/2008 09:06 PM
Thank you Javier Plumey and Luis for your inputs about this blog. As the webmaster of the web site of the Archdiocese of Miami I will do my best to put the bells and whistles in this blog, increasing the participation of our community in this conversation. I will add RSS as suggested by Javier Plumey. Please contribute with more of your good ideas and suggestions.
Chuck O'Halloran - 08/18/2008 08:39 PM
Congratulations! I pray we are opening new lines of communications inside the Miami Archdiocese and the Catholic Church. I believe using the Internet for illumination of our communications and thought processes compares favorable with the invention of the printing press. What a great opportunity to share the love of the Lord. Amen
Rene Medina Sr. - 08/18/2008 07:35 PM
Watching the news about Tropical Storm (soon to be Hurricane) Fay, a different kind of wind - the quiet one, the inner one, the almighty one - comes to mind today... May the Holy Spirit open our minds and hearts to connect with one another in faith, hope and love, -RM
Rene Medina Sr. - 08/18/2008 07:35 PM
Watching the news about Tropical Storm (soon to be Hurricane) Fay, a different kind of wind - the quiet one, the inner one, the almighty one - comes to mind today... May the Holy Spirit open our minds and hearts to connect with one another in faith, hope and love, -RM
Sara Torres - 08/18/2008 07:31 PM
Beloved Bishop Estevez, I'm very happy to join you through this blog which will be a great blessing to the Body of Christ. I hope that the blog develops and truly becomes a powerful communication tool. May God continue to bless your efforts to keep in touch with your community. We love you and constantly keep you in our prayers. Yours in Jesuschrist and our most Blessed Mother Mary, Sara Torres
Luis - 08/18/2008 07:04 PM
Your Excellency,
How happy I am to see the Archdiocese take this step into the blogosphere. I agree with JAVIER PLUMEY that the blog is a bit primitive. However, many great projects have had even more humble beginnings. While I too would prefer all the "bells and whistles," I will be making this blog part of my usual blogosphere reading list and join the list of those applauding the start of your blog.

May the Lord continue to bless you according to the perfect intercession of His Immaculate Mother,

Luis
http://faithandreasoninmiami.blogspot.com
Bernardo Garcia-Granda, M.D. - 08/18/2008 07:03 PM
I applaud your initiative. What a wonderful tool for all of us to share our ideas! Pace e Bene.
Lizette Lantigua - 08/18/2008 05:43 PM
Congrats! I am sure that Pope John Paul II, the Great Communicator, will bless this endeavor from above! We are all called to be great Communicators as well. If you know the Good News you are called to share it and what a perfect modern way than with this blog!
Isabel Lopez Healy - 08/18/2008 05:19 PM
I applaud this fantastic idea. I am very excited about the possibilities that this initiative promises. Especially, the exchange of ideas, comments and concerns that will help us to get closer to God and to face the obstacles that today's society presents. Thanks
Frank Pages - 08/18/2008 05:05 PM
Bishop Estevas. I wanted to thank you for being that light we so need to see in our lives. Your example has always strengthend my faith. You are a true servant of Christ.
God Bless and thank you for your service.
Maria-Teresa Lopez - 08/18/2008 05:04 PM
These are exciting times! I am a first time "blogger" and looking forward to what is to come. Congratulations to the Arch of Miami for taking this initiative. To love and to serve...
Irvin - 08/18/2008 04:45 PM
Congratulations, on a magnificent idea to have this blog for our Archdiocese. Cannot wait to read and join in the discussions.

Gods blessings for this new project
In JC
Amen
Antonio Fernandez - 08/18/2008 04:45 PM
With great joy, I want to congratulate and thank the Communications Department of the Archdiocese of Miami for the initiative of opening this new channel of communication in our local Church. I want to single out Most Reverend Felipe Estevez for his enthusiastic support to this endeavor and for his usual words of wisdom in the opening of this forum. Very appropriate and timely for Mons. Estevez to remind us that we are celebrating this year the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St. Paul.

God bless you all and continue providing you with the grace and energy to maintain this new form of apostolate and evangelization.
Alexandra Medina - 08/18/2008 04:25 PM
Whoooo Hooooo! This is great! We can post things, get answers, be inspired, and stay connected. That's truly amazing, and I'm looking forward to wonderful things that will develop here.
Walter - 08/18/2008 03:56 PM
I think this is going to be awsome. Once again our Archdiocese expending on ways for it to reach its people and for its people to reach them! Blog on. I only hope the people of our archdiocese will use this extrodianry chance to speak to its leaders, fellow parishners, and fellow citizens of the Archdiocese of Miami as well as people of other faiths and relegious beliefs to have a more open communication with us. Amen
Francisco-Javier Camps - 08/18/2008 03:54 PM
Excelente iniciativa Monsenor. En nombre de mi mujer, mis hijos y nietos
felicito a la arquidiocecis. Que todo sea para el beneficio de todos. Le
pedimos su bendicion.
Helena Ruiz - 08/18/2008 03:36 PM
Congratulations to the Miami Archdiocese for getting "On with the Times" and taking advantage of the technology in communication. I pray to God that this "bloggin" will get us closer to Our Lord. Blessings to you all.
Javier Plumey - 08/18/2008 03:33 PM
I'm glad to see that the Archdiocese has taken on this initiative. Blogging, and more specifically Catholic Blogging has been around for some time, but it will be good to be able to connect with the bloggers of the Archdiocese. I look forward to reading the posts and conversing with fellow readers.

I would also add that one of the most important aspects of a blog is the RSS syndication feed, which these blogs currently lack. These feeds allow subscribers to use special software such as Google Reader and others to be notified of new posts and to read the posts on mobile devices. I highly recommend that your staff look into implementing an RSS feed for each of your blogs, for without the RSS feed, the blog page is really just a web page.

God Bless,

Javier Plumey
Host, The Hands and Feet Show
http://www.beyourhands.com
David - 08/18/2008 03:18 PM
This is fantastic! The more communication, the better off we are as a church and as a community. It's ignorance that breeds suspicion and hatred. My patron saint, Maximilian Kolbe, would be proud, as he was a great proponent of using the media to reach the faithful more efficiently and in greater numbers. Congratulations on your foresight!
Chris Wills - 08/18/2008 03:17 PM
Bishop Estevez, your words are always a true inspiration and I'm sure I speak for many across the Archdiocese of Miami when I say that it is very exciting to see this blog being developed! PAX!

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