This week in the print magazine Jim McDermott, S.J., writes about the unique character of the "The Church in the West." As part of that project he had the opportunity to interview a number of bishops about their experiences in their own dioceses and within the US Catholic Conference of Bishops.
'Welcome to Galilee': An Interview with Bishop Gerald Barnes, Part 1
"There’s a certain poverty here, but there’s a great generosity on the part of the people and the priests to be church. We’re relying on others. That’s who we are."
'Good Comes from East L.A.': An interview with Bishop Gerald Barnes, Part 2
"There’s always enough for someone else. Just put more water in the soup, in the beans; there’s always enough for someone else. And that person—you need that person, they have something to offer you."
A Vibrant, Energetic Church: An Interview with Bishop Gerald Kicanas
"There’s a vibrancy to the church in the Southwest. In many of the Midwest and Eastern dioceses there is diminishment happening, schools closing, parishes closing. The blessing we have here is that we’re opening parishes. We’re growing. So that brings a certain vibrancy and energy."
'Grateful to be Part of a Bigger Church': An Interview with Bishop Joseph Tyson
"So if people can’t come to church, we bring church to them. That’s the lesson every seminarian is learning. We’re missionaries. We go out there."
'I Would Prefer to Be Judged Too Kind than Too Rigid': An Interview with Bishop Patrick J. McGrath
"I love the church, I love the people. I wish there were some relief that could be given to the people in difficult situations, a tangible welcome, not a perfunctory “You’re not all bad.” You’re not just part of the periphery of the family; you’re a part of the family and you’re welcome to the table."
'The Social Teaching of the Church Can't Just be in a Book': An Interview with Bishop Stephen Blaire
"The social teaching of the church can’t just be in a book. We have to attempt to apply it and sometimes that is going to create differences of opinion. We can’t be afraid of that. We cannot. We have to be prudent, and we have to be fair, but we also have to be clear. We don’t write the laws, but we certainly can comment on them."
Caring for the Flock in the Breadbasket of the Nation: An Interview with Bishop Armando Ochoa
"I think that’s what you have to know [as a bishop]: To whom am I being sent? And what better way [to find out] than by making those pastoral visitations and simply listen. That’s the best advice I would ask of anyone, to just sit and listen."