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Reflections by Most Reverend Kevin Vann, J.C.D., D.D.,
Bishop of Orange

Anchor 25


August 2014


I am grateful to send a few words to you in these days as, though summer is still with us, we are all preparing for our ministry and mission in the coming months of the Fall season. I asked Fr. Felix if I could occasionally write to you a few words and share a few thoughts as well from time to time.

These days of August finds us between two lgnatian feast days on the Universal calendar of the church, and I know that there are certainly others in the Jesuit calendar of particular feast days as well. I am thinking specifically of St. lgnatius of Loyola on July 31 and St. Peter Claver on September 9. lt might be well for us, then to, take at least sometime in these later days of summer to reflect on these two saints of the company of Jesus, and what they teach us for our own lives and ministry, especially as the busy days of the Fall will soon be upon us.

To that end, I recently read a book entitled "An lgnatian pathway" by Fr. Paul Coutinho, SJ. In a reflection on persevering in prayer he says that "countless times I have seen that being faithful to the time I allot for prayer strengthens my sense of commitment to everything that I undertake in my life, it seems that finding satisfaction in our faithfulness empties us of anything that is selfish, it purifies our motivations when we do not look for any reward: our faithfulness is our reward, we experience an inner freedom and deep satisfaction in life.,"

It would seem that with both St. lgnatius of Loyola and St. Peter Claver the attribute of

faithfulness is striking. How will our faithfulness to prayer in this coming season lead us to faithfulness in study and ministry, wherever the providence of the Lord will lead us?"

May the Lord bless you always.

+Kevin W. Vann
Bishop of Orange

God bless you all these holy days.


+Kevin W. Vann




November 10, 2015

Dear friends of the Loyola Institute,


This morning as I was celebrating 6:30 AM Mass in the Arboretum on the Christ Cathedral campus, during the proclamation of the first reading from Wisdom 3, which speaks of the "souls of the just," the morning sun came through at the exact moment of the Word of God which said, "at the time of their visitation they shall shine and shall dart about as sparks through stubble"!


This is certainly a fitting excerpt from the Word of God for us as we begin this month of November with so many saints and feast days in the Church's liturgical calendar. If we have experienced the "discernment" of one's personal vocation through the spiritual exercises, it is indeed a moment when the light of Christ shines on our lives and reflections. The Saints in the month of November do just that for us as well! This month it would be worthwhile for us to take some time to reflect on the Saints in the calendar, and how they followed their own personal call to holiness and mission.


We can certainly think of the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Nov. 9) - a reflection on the entire family of God and what the significance of a Cathedral is for the unity of the Church; St. Leo the Great (Nov. 10) is a call to heroism in challenging times as he defended the divinity of Christ, and in his care for his people was unafraid of the challenges of the invasions from the North; St. Martin of Tours (Nov. 11) teaches us, with the story of his cloak and laying down his sword, of being attentive to the poor and praying for peace. Did you know that November 11 (Veterans' Day) can be traced back directly to St. Martin, because peace treaties were originally signed on his feast day? Thus the treaty which ended the First World War was signed on his feast day; it was originally called "Armistice Day" and the name later changed to "Veterans Day".

St. Josaphat (Nov. 12) teaches us of the heritage of our Eastern Church brothers and sisters and the foundation of being in communion with the See of Rome, for which St. Josaphat gave his life. St. Albert the Great (Nov. 15) is a reminder that faith and science are not necessarily exclusive. Finally, St. Elizabeth of Hungary (Nov. 17), who was a Third Order Franciscan, gives us a history lesson (like that of St. Margaret of Scotland, Nov. 16) that many of the rulers of the Middle Ages lived their faith so definitively that they were always motivated by the spiritual and material welfare of the people in their kingdoms. And there are others as well!


The lives of these holy men and women are truly like the light of the morning sun which reflected the lives of the saints whose example and intercession shines for us "like sparks through stubble" as we pray to find, through prayer, discernment and daily life, our "calling with the calling" of our vocations in the Body of Christ!


God bless you all these holy days.


+Kevin W. Vann


Please click here for a PDF of the Letter

Anchor 29
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