Lent summons us, and enables us,
to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly
and in every aspect of our life.
Francis' message for Lent

Welcome, bienvenido!


We invite you to view Archbishop John C. Wester's blog.
Archbishop John C. Wester's Blog


The March issue of People of God, the magazine, is now available online and will be delivered to your parish March 9, 2018.

Inside this Issue
Pope Francis- The First Five Years
Archbishop’s Letter:  Say “I’m Sorry” During Lent
Archbishop Wester:  A Reflection on the Moral & Ethical Imperatives to Create Systemic Change to Transform the Lives of Our Children
2018 Young Adult Appreciation Banquet
Region XIII V Encuentro
Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI: Our Ache for Earthly Mortality
Making Sense of Bioethics
Archbishop Wester’s Schedule







An Open Letter: Children Come First
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Yesterday, I received an open letter from some of our state legislators related to the support the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops continues to give to the NM HJR1 2018 (Land Grant Fund Distributions). Since the letter is directed to the Conference, we three undersigned Catholic bishops of New Mexico are responding today. More>


Abide In Christ: Say "I'm Sorry" During Lent, March 2018 People of God
Quite a few years ago a JAL 747 landed short of the San Francisco International Airport runway and ended up in the bay. Fortunately, no lives were lost. What I remember most about that incident is that the CEO of Japan Airlines went on television and apologized for the accident. He then made a profound bow that underscored the sincerity of his apology. Back then, I wondered why he apologized. First of all, he wasn’t flying the plane. Furthermore, I presume that the pilot did not land in the bay on purpose.  And yet, the CEO was personally apologizing from the bottom of his heart. Contrast that apology with a rather common one in these modern times. Somebody makes a public comment about another person that is extremely hateful, disrespectful and damaging to that person’s reputation. Then, when called on it, replies, “If he or she is so thin-skinned as to be bothered by my innocuous comment then I guess I apologize.” Not quite the same, is it? More> En Español>

Statement from Archbishop John C. Wester
Support the Dreamers: Congressional Call-In Campaign
Please participate in the Call-in Day to Congress on Monday, February 26, 2018!

ALBUQUERQUE – Thursday, February 22, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Please participate in the National Call-in Day to Congress on Monday, February 26, 2018.  Your advocacy is critical to help the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. They may face deportation as soon as March 6, unless Congress reaches a bi-partisan deal to protect them. More>


Statement from Archbishop John C. Wester
Urgent: We need Catholic voices to support the Dreamers. Call our New Mexico Senators and Representatives now. Time is running out for them!
ALBUQUERQUE – Thursday, February 15, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE— As Catholics, we believe the dignity of every human being, particularly that of our immigrant and refugee children and youth, must be protected. The sanctity of families must be upheld. The Catholic bishops have long supported undocumented youth brought to the United States by their parents, known as Dreamers, and continue to do so. We ask you to engage with your elected officials to voice your support for these young people and call on your members of Congress to find a bipartisan legislative solution to protect Dreamers immediately. As we move closer to the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA, ending March 5, 2018), over 800,000 young people who entered into the U.S. and only know America as their home,  may face deportation. Every day, these youth lose their status, and with it, lose their ability to go to school, serve in the military and work legally. Our church stands in solidarity with Dreamers. We celebrate the contributions of refugees and immigrants in our churches, communities and in our country.

Congress must pass bipartisan legislation that would provide urgently needed relief for Dreamers. More> En Español>

Archbishop John C. Wester on the Passage of the HJR1 Early Childhood Constitutional Amendment
ALBUQUERQUE – Tuesday, February 6, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE— Archbishop John C. Wester has issued the following statement regarding the passage of the HJR1 Early Childhood Constitutional Amendment. More>

Additional Directives Regarding Liturgical Practices During the 2018 Flu Season

ALBUQUERQUE – Friday, February 2, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—This year, influenza (flu) is widespread in 46 states in the United States. New Mexico is one of the states listed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as having widespread flu outbreaks. In a recent report, the CDC reports this is the first year the entire continental U.S. is at the same level of flu activity at the same time. This year there has been a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases over last year.

On January 16, 2018, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe published directives regarding liturgical practices to be followed due to the severity of the 2017-2018 Flu Season. Please note the reason for this update and all the recently published directives is to limit the spread of influenza and to save lives.

Due to the severity of the flu season, the archdiocese will be taking the following steps in regards to the celebration of Mass:
• During the Sign of Peace, instead of shaking hands or hugging, as is practiced in some parishes, it would be best to simply nod your head and avoid bodily contact.
• When praying the Our Father, please do not hold hands. Simply extend your hands toward Heaven or fold your hands.
• Holy Communion will not be received under both species, just the Consecrated Host and not the Chalice.
• Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should wash their hands just prior to distribution Holy Communion and should wash them immediately after distribution. If it is easier, an antibacterial gel can be used.
• If you are sick, sneezing or coughing, it would be best for you to stay home. You are welcome to take advantage of the Sunday TV Masses which are available in English and Spanish. It is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays if you are ill.
• Effective Friday, February 2, 2018: Archbishop John C. Wester has asked that one more item be added to the list of cautionary steps we are taking regarding the Celebration of Mass. The celebrant of any Mass in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is to encourage the reception of the Consecrated Host in the hands.  Please note, many liturgists believe the reception of the Consecrated Host in the hands is considered more appropriate liturgically than receiving the Consecrated Host on the tongue.  This directive is aimed at limiting contact with saliva, thus limiting the spread of the flu virus.

Please pray for all who have lost their lives as a result of the flu and may we do our part to prevent its spread. All priests, deacons and parish staff are greatly appreciated for all they have done in implementing the 2017-2018 Flu Season Directives. This and all directives related to the 2017- 2018 Flu Season will be revoked when the situation improves.

For more information, please contact Very Reverend John C. Daniel, V.G., Vicar for Clergy, Moderator of the Curia at 505.831.8158. --END

Archbishop John C. Wester Congratulates New President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson

ALBUQUERQUE – Tuesday, January 16, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Archbishop John C. Wester Congratulates New President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson:

The news that Senior Apostle Russell M. Nelson, Sr., has been sustained as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a cause for great joy not only for those within his Church but for so many of us who have had the honor and privilege of working with the leadership of the LDS Church over the years.  I will be always grateful to President Nelson for his kindness to me during my time in Salt Lake City.  His warmth and goodness were readily evident as he brought his healing skills from the medical profession into his service as an Apostle.  As I congratulate President Nelson I also offer my prayers and best wishes as he assumes his new responsibilities.  May God bless him with continued good health so that he may follow his call with a generous spirit and a joyful heart. --END


ALBUQUERQUE – Monday, January 8, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE— Archbishop John C. Wester’s Statement on Termination of Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am greatly disappointed and saddened to learn of the Trump’s administration action today to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador. This devastating action will cause great harm to the El Salvadorans living in the USA, those U. S. citizens who depend on them and to the already challenged country of El Salvador.  It is an attack on the sanctity of the family. Please read the following Center for Migration Studies’ (CMS) statement for more information. 
Most Rev. John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe

ALBUQUERQUE – Friday, January 5, 2018–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Archbishop John C. Wester has issued the following statement regarding the death of Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

I was very saddened to learn of the death of President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was a man of great compassion who had a genuine concern for all God’s children and he will be missed, not only by those within the LDS Church, but by countless others who were touched by his gentle leadership and loving heart.  I extend to all our brothers and sisters in the Mormon Church the sincere sympathy of the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and I assure you of our prayers for President Monson, his family and all of those who mourn the passing of this gentle shepherd.--END


Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Catholic Charities Raise Over $200,000 for Disaster Relief

ALBUQUERQUE – Thursday, December 14, 2017–IMMEDIATE RELEASE— The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in partnership with Catholic Charities raised over $200,000 this fall to assist the communities devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the earthquakes in Mexico. One hundred percent of the funds collected through this partnership were forwarded to organizations directly providing disaster relief to the affected communities.
Catholic Charities performed an assessment within the Catholic Charities USA network to determine where aid could be most impactful. The two organizations thank all the donors who gave through their respective organizations to make a difference for those struggling to recover from the natural disasters. More> Atch1 Distribution of Funds>


Public Disclosure of Documents En Español>

ALBUQUERQUE – Wednesday, October 18, 2017–IMMEDIATE RELEASE— Today, District Court Judge Alan Malott authorized the public disclosure of certain documents relating to three priests who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.  As with its recent September 12, 2017 publication of a list of clergy accused of sexual misconduct, it is the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s hope that the disclosure of these documents which have been disclosed in filings in these matters over the past 25 years,
 will serve as an additional step in healing for survivors, their families, our Church, and communities. 
Going forward, the archdiocese intends to continue promoting transparency in its efforts to protect children and young people from sexual abuse by clergy or anyone else in the community, while at the same time being careful to respect the rights of those who may be falsely accused, and respect the privacy of abuse survivors and their families. --END



Archbishop's Letter: Abide In Christ
Several years ago, I heard a very important story that happened in the life of Sr. Marilyn Lacey, a sister of the Bay Area of San Francisco, and relative of the late Monsignor Lacey, former Vicar General of San Francisco. Sr. Marilyn's ministry was to welcome refugees and others from the airport and then she would help orient them to the area. I remember her telling the story of greeting a woman who came in exhausted, having traveled many, many thousands of miles, and going through the long, involved vetting process of coming in to our country as refugee. Sr. Marilyn asked if this newly arrived, refugee woman was hungry and she answered, "Yes, I am." Sr. Marilyn got some food and placed them in front of her, but she didn't eat it. Sr. Marilyn said, "I'm sorry, is the food okay?" "Oh," the woman said, "it looks wonderful. I'm very hungry." And sister said, "Well, may I ask, why aren't you eating?" The woman simply looked up to the sister and said, "But where are the others? Where are the others?" Sister said, "What others?" The woman replied, "Well, in my country, we would never ever eat alone. Eating is a communal activity. As a matter of fact, if you ate alone, it might be seen as a sign that you were hoarding and being selfish. We always eat with each other, strangers, friends, family." More>


Archbishop John C. Wester's Statement on Las Vegas, NV Mass Shooting
ALBUQUERQUE – Monday, October 2, 2017–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Archbishop John C. Wester has issued the following statement regarding the mass shootings in Las Vegas, NV that took place yesterday, Sunday, October 1, 2017:

We were shocked to wake up this morning to what has been the deadliest attack in United States history in Las Vegas, NV.

On behalf of my brothers and sisters of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, we join our fellow citizens in sharing our deepest condolences and prayers to all affected by this abominable display of violence and evil.

We also give thanks and pray for all first responders, official and unofficial, who went above and beyond their call of duty to protect and serve.

For those who have died, may eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.--END

We pray in the spirit of the Psalms:

We are in distress, we are in anguish.

Our tears are bitter as once again

The lives you have created

Are disrespected, destroyed, 

Because of fear, of hate, of refusal

To see the others as part of oneself,

Because weapons are more common

Than compassion, than solidarity.


We pray for the dead,

For their families and friends in grief.

We pray for the living,

May the healing begin,

For the wounded, 

For all those in the frantic crowd,

For the local communities,

For this nation,

In distress, in anguish.


We pray that we may begin

To see the violence end

And peace be with us all. Amen.



September 12, 2017
Letter from Archbishop John C. Wester to Introduce List of Accused Priests, Deacons & Religious
More> En Español> (revised 09.15.17)

September 5, 2017
Archbishop John C. Wester's Statement of DACA

Tuesday, September 5, 2017–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Archbishop John C. Wester has issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision on DACA: 

I am deeply troubled by the president's decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects more than 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.  In my judgment, DACA has stood as a counterpoint to the voices of exclusion and now, without the action of Congress, this crucial support for these young immigrants has been taken away. More>



Archbishop's Letter: Abide in Christ
September 2017, People of God
September 27: A Day to Save. Together, you and Pope Francis can lead the world in helping migrants and refugees.

 “The future is made of you, it is made of encounters.” Pope Francis

In this series examining Catholic teaching on migration, my last column addressed what are called the root causes of migration, or the push-pull factors that force people to migrate in the first place.  Now, I have learned that Pope Francis is calling us to action and I invite you to respond. More> En Español>

With great joy and gratitude we present our new priests ordained by Archbishop John C. Wester for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe following their ordination Mass on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, NM.

The newly ordained pictured in the front row with Archbishop John C. Wester and Archbishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheehan are: Rev. Francisco Carabajal Barajas, Rev. Robert Bustamante and Rev. Christopher Hallada. Also pictured are Rev. Michael DePalma, ASF Director of Vocations; Rev. Clement Niggel, Associate Director of Vocations; and our recently ordained Transitional Deacons Christopher Martinez, Tai Pham and John Kimani



Presenting the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Transitional Diaconate Class of 2017.
Archbishop John C. Wester ordained four seminarians Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at Our Lady of LaVang Parish in Albuquerque.  Pictured here with Archbishop Wester are Rev. Mr. John Kimani, Rev. Mr. Christopher Martinez, Rev. Mr. Jason Pettigrew, Rev. Mr. Tai Pham.
Back row: Rev. Clement Niggel, Rev. Michael DePalma, Archbishop Emeritus Michael J. Sheehan

Abide in Christ: Laws Are Meant to Protect People, Not Break Them
As an archbishop, one of my key responsibilities is to promote unity in our local Church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  With this in mind, I could not help but be saddened to learn that a statement I recently issued regarding immigration in light of recent presidential executive orders was seen, in the minds of some, as being divisive.  A few wrote to me to say, among other things, that they are dismayed at my apparent lack of respect for our immigration laws.  Even though this is a complex topic and not one easily addressed in the space of this article, I thought it might be helpful to point to some of the areas I see as pertinent to this discussion, hoping that even a brief exposition may promote a greater understanding and lead to greater unity. More>


17.03.06 NMCCB Statement on the Dignity of Human Life We the bishops of the State of New Mexico speak for the Catholic Church.  We work to uphold the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death through our pastoral ministries and through our legislative advocacy via the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.  We encourage individuals to live and proclaim their faith; however, they must be steadfast in stating they speak for themselves and do not speak for the Catholic Church. More> En Español




Pastoral Letter from Archbishop John C. Wester to our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters
Dear Brothers & Sistersof the Immigrant Community in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe,
As your archbishop, I address you today to reiterate what I have said many times: You are a blessing to our Church and to our community!
That being said, I know this has been a stressful week for many in the immigrant community. I know there is fear because of President Donald Trump's possible changes to policies on immigration and the threat of a wall being built on the US-Mexico border. More> En Español



From the USCCB Migration & Refugee Services (MRS):  We have provided “Know Your Rights:  Preparation Encounters with Immigration Enforcement” videos.  To view those videos (“Nine Ways to Protect Yourself”) for English click here.  En Español haga clic aqui.  For other resources, click here.

The videos are short reminders of important Know Your Rights points and they are not intended as legal advice. Rather, they are education and awareness materials to help remind people of their rights when encountering ICE. We urge all undocumented individuals to seek legal advice from a qualified immigration attorney or accredited representative.

We will continue to work to protect our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. We welcome working together to support and lift up immigrant and refugee voices at this time.


Pastoral Letter from Archbishop John C. Wester to our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters



Carta Pastoral del Arzobispo John C. Wester a nuestros hermanos y hermanas inmigrantes


17.02.03 Archbishop John C. Wester on the Executive Orders Relating to Immigrants and Refugees
In light of recent Executive Actions by President Trump, I am deeply concerned for many of our people in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and beyond who feel afraid and isolated.  Indeed, during these unsettled times, there are quite a few of us who can easily give into the feeling that we are not safe and that we are in imminent danger from terrorists and other extremists.  As a pastor, I believe that it is important to recognize and distinguish between real threats that should concern us and unreal threats that provoke fear because of rhetoric designed to play upon our anxieties as a society.  Jesus offers us an alternative: to act out of love and not out of fear. More>


Click below to watch KOAT's interview: Archbishop Wester speaks out on immigration policy:

What is your response to President Donald Trump's recent executive order on immigration?

We are very distressed at the news that we’re hearing these last couple of days. For us, it’s a very dark time in our history because our gospel values, as well as our American values, speak very clearly about the dignity of the human person. More>




Listen to Archbishop Wester’s message about why we should give to ACA 2017!  For more information, visit their website here.


"Todo lo que Dios nos pide es que le expresemos gratitud a él y a su cuerpo, que es la Iglesia, por todo lo que se nos ha dado." Arzobispo John C. Wester


United States Conference of Bishops Approve Canonical Step for the Sainthood Cause of
Sister Blandina Segale, SC, Servant of God

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Tuesday, November 15, 2016- IMMEDIATE RELEASE— Today, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was consulted on the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Sister Blandina Segale. SC, Servant of God. Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, presented the biography of the Sister Blandina Segale to the USCCB members during their annual Fall General Assembly held November 14-16, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY the USCCB President, posed the question for approval of the beatification and canonization of Sister Blandina Segale to the U.S. Bishops as a collegial body, asking if they supported the advancing of the Cause; the Bishops voted unanimously: YES. Episcopal consultation is a step in the Catholic Church's process toward declaring one a saint. More>



Choose us as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile!
Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Support the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe by going to: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/85-6009986.




View Sr. Blandina's press conference held Wednesday, July 13, 2016 regarding a new television series, "At the End of the Santa Fe Trail" by clicking here. For more information and to read the press release and background information, click More>


View Archbishop Wester's interview on immigration and Pope Francis' papal visit to Mexico below:


Archbishop John C. Wester shares his thoughts on the impact of Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico and  immigration with media.   A press conference  followed with other religious and lay leaders including Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, USCCB President was held at the Camino Real Hotel, El Paso, TX.  


NOTICE: All inquiries regarding the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Sr. Blandina Segala, SC (aka Maria Rosa Segale) should be sent to the Postulator of the Cause, Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, Bishop Emeritus of Las Cruces c/o The Petitioner of the Cause Mr. Allen Sanchez 1516 5th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 505.319.3334 or allensanchez@stjosephnm.org

(Photo courtesy Palace of the Governor's Photo Archives (NMHD/DCA) Negative #67735)



Prayer for the Canonization of Sr. Blandina - Click here.

Novena to Sr. Blandina Segale, SC, Servant of God - Click here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:00pm Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan Posted Historical Decree On Cathedral Doors Officially Informing the People of God of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Maria Rosa Segale aka Sr. Blandina Segale, SC. All are welcome! This is the first time in New Mexico's Roman Catholic Church's over 400 year history a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan posted the historical decree officially informing the people of God of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Maria Rosa Segale aka Sr. Blandina Segale, SC. The decree announces the Vatican's immediate permission to open the Sainthood Cause of Servant of God, Sr. Blandina Segale, SC on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The historical event took place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, NM the during the La Conquistadora/ Our Lady of Peace Vespers and Procession to Rosario Chapel located at Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe. A delegation representing the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati included Sr. Victoria Forde, SC, official delegate; Sr. Celestia Koebel, SC, former administrator of St. Joseph Hospital, Albuquerque; and Sr. Monica Luca, SC. (Photo courtesy Palace of the Governor's Photo Archives (NMHD/DCA) Negative #67735) More>


Permission Granted to Open the Sainthood Cause of Servant of God, Sister Blandina Segale, SC Pictured here are Sr. Victoria Marie Forde, Sr. Celestia Koebel, SC, Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, Bishop Emeritus of Las Cruces (Postulator) Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe (Judge for the Cause), Sr. Monica Luca, SC, Victor Limary (Board of Directors Vice-Chair CHI St. Joseph's Children), and Allen Sánchez (Petitioner for the Cause, President & CEO of CHI St. Joseph's Children).

We’re excited to announce the release of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s free official mobile “Archdiosfapp. The Archdiosf  app is available for both Apple and Android devices. You can enjoy exclusive local, national and international content 365 days a year.  Read press releases, the People of God newspaper, New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops updates, Mi Casa Su Casa, PMD Express, and much more.

You will have access to the archdiocese’s 92 parishes, archdiocesan staff, push notifications, one-touch access to the archdiocese’s webpage, our social media platforms, and calendar of events. There is also an electronic guide of sacramental guidelines and policies, and a photo gallery.
You can also use the Archdiosf app to sign up to receive Archdiocese of Santa Fe press releases as well as updates from the NMCCB directly to your email account. 
The official Archdiosf app is available for the iPhone in the Apple Store and Android on Google Play. Download it now to stay updated with all the Good News of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  It’s a great way to keep the church with you at all times!


Mobile Safety Begins at Home From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops comes a wonderful guide to help us help our children in the digital age.







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