Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings to you during this blessed Easter season! I hope and pray that, in the midst of this dangerous coronavirus pandemic, the grace and peace of Our Risen Lord continues to sustain you and fill your hearts.
The season of Easter ends on the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Second Vatican Council spoke of “the Church’s birth” on the day of Pentecost. The apostles received the power of the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel of Jesus to the nations. The Holy Spirit, who guided and strengthened the apostles, continues to guide and strengthen the Church. We can say that “the grace of Pentecost is perpetuated in the Church.” The Holy Spirit makes the Church grow and continually renews Her.
One of the ways the Holy Spirit works in the Church is by inspiring vocations to the priesthood. I give thanks that the Holy Spirit is blessing us here in our diocese with a good number of priestly vocations. I am grateful to you for your prayers for priestly vocations here in our diocese and throughout the world.
Every year, I ask you to be generous in the Pentecost collection, a special collection in our diocese to help fund the education of our seminarians. This is a large item in our annual diocesan budget. Given the financial challenges we face during this pandemic, the need for your support is even greater this year. If you are able, I humbly ask for your extra generosity in the Pentecost collection this year.
Our diocese and the Church worldwide need good and holy priests. Thank you for doing your part in supporting the formation of our seminarians so that, like the Apostles at Pentecost, they will one day go out with joy and enthusiasm as priests to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus with the strength of His Spirit.
May the Risen Lord bless you for your generosity! May the Holy Spirit strengthen you on Pentecost and every day to live and practice your faith with courage and joy!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend
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