Happy new year! I pray that 2013 will bring with it an increase in faith and a renewed sense of mission in the Gospel for each one of you. It is a time of resolutions and new beginnings. In that line of thought, I would like to bring forward something special for your prayerful reflection for the new year.
In the forthcoming Catholic Sentinel, Archbishop Vlazny will be offering us a challenge in his personal column. That challenge begins after the Christmas season and continues until the end of our observance of the Church’s Year of Faith. Simply put, it is a call to prayer.
In light of the times, that is the threats to human life, marriage, and religious liberty, the Archbishop desires that we all make personal commitments that will help us have the “spiritual stamina” to be “effective and joyful witnesses of faith, hope, and charity as agents of the new evangelization.” His strategy has five parts:
- Daily rosary
- Monthly Eucharistic holy hours
- Special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses
- Fasting and abstinence on Fridays
- A second Fortnight for Freedom in the summer.
The reason for such a recipe of prayer is for us all to more deeply encounter our Lord so as to become better witnesses of God’s law of love of our society. Fundamental Christian morality has been ignored or even outright violated which is serving to unravel some of our society’s most basic covenantal unions, threaten more innocent life, and threatened our ability to freely practice our faith in its fullness. The Archbishop will more fully explain these in his forthcoming article. But, I felt it necessary to pre-empt his letter with this encouragement to learn more and read his article when it is published.
We, as a parish and two missions, will do our best to implement all of these directives and will publish the details of these plans once they are fleshed out amidst our current schedule of ministry activities. In the meantime, I want you to bring to prayer your own personal preparation for this forthcoming program. A docile spirit and openness to our Archbishop’s pastoral challenge is a good thing for us all. May we allow ourselves to be “all-in” for this exercise of faith.
Fr. William Holtzinger