THE CHARTER OF THE SODALITY OF GARCIA DIEGO
“Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.” – St. Francis of Assisi
<<Siempre adelante! Nunca para atras!>> – Blessed Junipero Serra
The Sodality of Garcia Diego is a group of Catholics in the greater Santa Barbara region. We come together for prayer, companionship, and mutual edification in the faith. We are cultivating our sense of tradition and history.
A sodality is a group of lay Catholics who gather in what may be called a union of prayer. Since the late sixteenth century, sodalities have been pious associations of the faithful committed to renewing the Catholic Church and to performing works of mercy on a local level, often under the patronage of our Lady. Such sodalities were quite common in the United States in the early twentieth century. Our Sodality of Garcia Diego is not restricted in focus to one parish, occupation, or state in life, although many members--men and women--are students or otherwise of an academic cast of mind.
Bishop Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno (1785-1846), after whom a local Catholic high school is named, was the first bishop of the Diocese of the Two Californias (Alta and Baja California). In the early 19th century, the seat of this extensive bishopric was in Santa Barbara.
“It is simply impossible to lead a virtuous life without the aid of prayer.” – Saint John Chrysostom
Since a sodality is an association of the faithful united in prayer, prayer must be our first principle. We help each other to strive for personal sanctification and to discern our vocations. We attend Mass together monthly and participate in Eucharistic adoration regularly. We have a sodality litany and pray for the intentions of the members. We place the sodality under the patronage of Our Lady Refuge of Sinners, because it was under this title that Bishop Garcia Diego in 1843 declared the Blessed Virgin Mary to be patroness of the Two Californias.
History & Tradition
“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too”— Benedict XVI
Although contemporary culture undervalues tradition and history, we recognize our roots and cultivate a firm foundation from which to engage with modern society. We want to understand the Church's place in history, including our local history. We also appreciate tradition: both Sacred Tradition, as handed down by the apostles in the Deposit of Faith, and other traditions that have risen up over the course of centuries. Traditions we value include the Tridentine Latin Mass, Eastern Rite liturgies, Gregorian chant, and various devotional practices that accord with feasts and fasts of the Church calendar.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.”– Thomas Merton
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”– St. John of the Cross
In an age seemingly devoid of tradition, tradition can be spontaneous. A fully Catholic spontaneity can be described as “form without form.”
While we do our best to plan our own lives and our sodality events, we are open to the plans God has in store for us. We hope to be prepared to respond when plans need to change. We also embark on adventures together, some of which we might not be aware of until they are underway.
“What a great favor God does to those He places in the company of good people!”– St. Teresa of Avila
We live in an age in which the Catholic idea of family is being questioned by society at large. Recognizing such challenges, we pray for and support our families of origin and those who may be starting families. In a deeper sense, too, the Church is our family: we need the spiritual support provided by our ecclesiastical family.
We invoke the example of the Holy Family--Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We ask for their continual aid as we deepen our devotion to these principles of prayer, history & tradition, spontaneity, and family.