Dear Friends in Christ,
In this season of Easter, we are living the encounter with Our Risen Lord not only as something of the past, but in the present communion of the faith, liturgy, and life of the Church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to live this communion and to bear witness to the Risen Christ in our lives of faith, hope and charity.
On the feast of Pentecost, the apostles received the power of the Holy Spirit to witness to Christ and to bring His Gospel to the world. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, we too have received this power. The Holy Spirit made the Church missionary from its very beginning. The Spirit who filled the apostles at Pentecost guarantees the handing on of the faith in the Church throughout the ages. He equips us for our mission of evangelization today.
Each year on Pentecost Sunday we take up a special collection for the education of our seminarians. It is an appropriate feast for this collection since the Holy Spirt is the source of all ministry, the Author and Giver of the spiritual and pastoral strength of those called to be priests. At ordination, our seminarians will be equipped by the Holy Spirit for the work of priestly ministry.
We need funds to support the seminary education of the young men of our diocese whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood. They are being educated and formed in the seminary to become like Christ the Good Shepherd in order to serve the Church, to serve you through the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments. By giving generously to the Pentecost collection, you are supporting these young men and their formation in the seminary, their preparation to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at ordination.
The Lord continues to bless our diocese with priestly vocations. On June 1, eight days before Pentecost, I will ordain three men to the priesthood. Thank you for your generosity in the past, which helped fund their seminary education. I ask for your continued generosity to support the men behind them who also are receiving an excellent formation for the priesthood.
Let us continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for priestly vocations in our diocese! May God bless you with joy next weekend as we celebrate the extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend
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