[ Home ] [ Messages and Signs ] [ In Defense of the Truth ] [ Saints ] [ Pilgrimages ] [ Testimonies ] [ Ordering ]

4/17/2013 7:22:00 AM
“I am a Guadalupano,” new archbishop tells Oregon

Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Father Sample introduces Pope John Paul II to his mother in mid-1990s.

                                                             Catholic Sentinel photo by Bob KernsArchbishop Sample gives Communion during installation Mass.  
Archbishop Sample gives Communion during installation Mass.

Bishop Sample speaks to middle schoolers during a 2011 conference in Marquette.

Archbishop Alexander Sample laughs before a 2012 Mass at a small historic chapel on Sugar Island, Mich.

Archbishop Alexander Sample laughs before a 2012 Mass at a small historic chapel on Sugar Island, Mich.

MARQUETTE, Mich.─The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to a growing population of Hispanic Catholics. They've had a spiritual father and brother in Archbishop Alexander Sample.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand they are the future of our church in this country," Archbishop Sample says. "The church is growing because there are Hispanics. We need to recognize and celebrate the fact that this in many ways is going to give life to the church."

Many Hispanics in the Upper Peninsula are experienced dairy workers who have been hired at farms near the Wisconsin border.

In the city of Marquette, the largest urban area in the region, Hispanics have found jobs in the service industry. The same goes for Mackinac Island with its tourist trade.   

The cook in the rectory at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette was a dentist in Mexico. Archbishop Sample deeply respects her. He would speak Italian to her and get tips on learning Spanish.

During seminary at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, he took part in a Hispanic ministry training program. The students attended Mass and prayer in Spanish.

The archbishop worked hard on Spanish before going to World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011. A computer language program helped.

As of late, he has been reading El Centinela, the Spanish-language newspaper for the Archdiocese of Portland.

The archbishop hopes young Hispanics in the U.S. will not discard their culture and heritage. "It is sad to see any immigrants wanting to abandon their traditional ways," he says.

He pines for his own Polish heritage, which comes through his mother but has faded over generations.

"It's good to know American ways, but you don't have to abandon your culture to be American," he says.

The church, he explains, celebrates culture. He's looking forward to that in Oregon.

As a member of a U.S. bishops' subcommittee on Native American Catholics, Archbishop Sample has been invited to take part in church discussions on national immigration reform.

"Our immigration system is broken," he says.

It's important to him that the 11 million undocumented citizens now in the country have a path to citizenship, even if the process includes fines and waiting in line. It's crucial that reform keep families from being split, he adds.

As much as possible, Archbishop Sample says, the U.S. should help improve conditions in countries that are sources of heavy immigration.   

"There has always been the American dream, but the volume coming from some places is an indication that something is wrong," says the archbishop, who maintains that the U.S., like any nation, should be able to protect its borders.

At a January press conference introducing him to Portland, Archbishop Sample spoke to Spanish-speaking Catholics of western Oregon in their own language. He's still learning Spanish, he said.

But in spiritual language, he's fluent. Like most Hispanic Catholics, he has a deep devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is not only a national symbol of faith and pride in Mexico, but patroness of all the Americas. Pope John Paul named her "Star of the New Evangelization."

"I am a Guadalupano," Archbishop says. "Our Lady of Guadalupe speaks to the little ones, to those who find themselves marginalized and poor. She never comes to bishops, or scholars, or rich people, but to those like St. Bernadette and St. Juan Diego. And she didn't come with any grand revelation or message except 'I want a church built here so I can be a mother to my people.'"

In his private chapel in Marquette, he kept an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that has been touched to the original tilma in Mexico City. The image includes a vial of soil from Tepeyac Hill, where Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531.

The archbishop notes that Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is shown as pregnant, is patroness of the Respect Life movement.

He sits on the board of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a pilgrimage site begun by Cardinal Raymond Burke, former bishop of La Crosse. Built on a bluff above the upper Mississippi River, the shrine includes a striking stone church where laity and religious pray at all times, especially for people in need.

The mission of the shrine is to keep proclaiming Mary's message about God's mercy and love.

Another project at the shrine is developing catechesis and forming catechists for the New Evangelization. That excites Archbishop Sample. The model for the task is St. Juan Diego, who would welcome guests and tell them of his experience with Mary and his love of God.

from Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon

February 11, 2013

MARQUETTE — Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday that he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and will be resigning on February 28, 2013. Following the announcement, Archbishop Alexander K. Sample released a statement regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Statement from Archbishop Alexander K. Sample:

“Along with all Catholics throughout the world, I woke up this morning to the stunning news that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has made the historically momentous decision to resign his office as the Bishop of Rome and Successor to St. Peter the Apostle.

I receive this news with a certain personal sadness, as I have a great affection for Pope Benedict XVI. He appointed me to be a bishop here in the Diocese of Marquette and now the new Archbishop of Portland. I have met him on several occasions and have always been struck by his kindness and gentle humility. I have been inspired by his steadfast and faithful leadership of the Universal Church.

I have great admiration for him as he makes this very difficult and humble decision to step down from the office of Supreme Pastor of the Church. He clearly recognizes that his strength of mind and body as he ages is no longer adequate to sustain him in such an important ministry. I have no doubt that he came to this decision through much prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit.

We now entrust the election of a new Pope to the same Holy Spirit. This is Christ’s Church, and I have faith and trust that he will raise up a new Holy Father according to his own Sacred Heart. I pray for Pope Benedict XVI. May God be good to him and sustain him in his loving care.”

─ Reprinted by Mary’s Touch By Mail, April 16, 2015

6/28/2014  (reprinted from Catholic Sentinel)
Archbishop Sample consecrates Church in Western Oregon to the "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima"

Catholic Sentinel photos by Jon DeBellis
A capacity crowd filled St. Mary Cathedral for the consecration Mass.

Catholic Sentinel photos by Jon DeBellis
A capacity crowd filled St. Mary Cathedral for the consecration Mass.

Archbishop Alexander Sample during his homily.

Archbishop Alexander Sample during his homily.

Jon DeBellis
Of the Catholic Sentinel

A capacity crowd filled the pews and lined the walls of

St. Mary Cathedral in Northwest Portland, as Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated a solemn Mass consecrating the Archdiocese of Portland to Mary under the title “Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima."

The consecration featured the new National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima, which was blessed by Pope Francis when he consecrated the world to Our Lady of Fatima last October.

The archbishop asked those in attendance to devote themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to revive themselves in prayer (in particular the rosary) and assured them that this devotion would lead them to the triumph of God's plan.

"This consecration is one especially for the sake of the family," said Archbishop Sample during his homily. "Marriage and family life are in a real crisis. We make this consecration to her to watch over our families and marriages. Families need Our Lady's love and protection."

Father Francisco Pereira, who is chaplain for the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, was present for the consecration as an official delegate and representative.

Also at the event were leaders from the World Apostolate of Fatima, including David Carollo, its executive director.

"We were delighted to be invited by Archbishop Sample for this most joyous occasion," said Carollo, who resides in the Archdiocese of Chicago. "We are always excited to bring the message of Our Lady of Fatima to the people."

Mary Betzing, 67, a member of Ascension Parish in Southeast Portland was also in attendance. A retired U.S. Forest Service worker, she says it was her "own devotion to Mary" that brought her to the consecration Mass.

Local members of the apostolate who sent flyers advertising the event were on hand to greet Catholics from around the region who came.

Parish visitations of the statue are scheduled through July 6, and include stops at St. Matthew, Hillsboro; St. Rose of Lima, Portland; St. Joseph, Salem; St. Anne, Gresham; Our Lady of the Lake, Lake Oswego; Holy Trinity, Beaverton; Our Lady of Sorrows, Portland; St. Stephen, Portland; Christ the King, Milwaukie; and St. John Fisher, Portland.

The Archdiocese of Portland has published a visitation schedule for the statue on its website, at

"The family that prays together, stays together," said Eliseo Gahaban, a member of the Divine Mercy of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the local apostolate groups at the event. "We hope this event today keeps Mary in people's hearts, and enables them to ask for her intervention and guidance through family prayer."

In conjunction with the consecration, Archbishop Sample encourages all parishes, families and individuals to prayerfully participate in the First Saturdays Devotion, especially on five first Saturdays: July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1.

On the first Saturday of the month the faithful are asked to:
• Go to confession (preferably on a first Saturday, but within eight days before or after one)
• Receive Holy Communion (in a state of grace)
• Pray five Decades of the Rosary (one set of mysteries)
• Spend 15 additional minutes in meditation (on one or more mysteries of the Rosary)
All of these actions should be offered for the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Blessed Mother promised that if this is accomplished on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, she will assist us at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for our salvation.
More information on the First Saturdays devotion can be found on the Archdiocese of Portland’s website: 

Consecration Prayer
Holy Mary Virgin of Fatima,
with renewed gratitude for your
maternal presence
We join our voice to that of
all the generations
who call you blessed.
Accept with the benevolence of a
Mother our sharing in the
consecration of the Archdiocese of
Portland to your Immaculate Heart.

Hold our life in your arms;
bless and strengthen every desire for good;
revive and nourish faith;
sustain and enlighten hope;
awaken and animate charity;
guide all of us along the path of holiness.
And bring us under your protection
and entrust us to your beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus.

─ Reprinted from Catholic Sentinel of the Portland Archdiocese

NOTE:   My wife and I attended this Consecration Mass celebrated by His Excellency Archbishop Alexander K. Sample in St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Oregon on June 28, 2014 and, after the Mass, submitted to His Excellency through Bishop Peter Smith (also of the Portland Archdiocese) our letter and report on the Special Photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe taken at the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, Oregon, on August 15, 1991 for His Excellency’s discernment .  On July 3, 2014, 5 days later, His Excellency issued a letter encouraging us to promote this photograph “for the greater faith and devotion to the Most Holy Mother of God”.  Benedict Lee, Mary’s Touch By Mail, April 16, 2015.)

[ Home ] [ Messages and Signs ] [ In Defense of the Truth ] [ Saints ] [ Pilgrimages ] [ Testimonies ] [ Ordering ]

Webmaster: director@marys-touch.com

Copyright © 2018, Mary’s Touch By Mail. All rights reserved.