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 | By Bishop Earl Boyea

Disciples Together On the Way

Many thanks to those who have expressed appreciation for this past Year of the Bible. I have very much enjoyed reading each chapter with you. In case you are wondering, I chose the books of the Bible which I most enjoy for our reflection. The purpose has never been to read the entire Bible, as if we could somehow conquer the Bible. Rather, it has been to join together and share a spiritual journey with the Word of God. Jesus is that Word of God. Now, my prayer is that we will all continue to choose selections from the Bible to continue that journey on our own or with our family members.

We, as a diocese, are now being invited on another pilgrimage during this coming year: Disciples Together on the Way. Those last words tie into Pope Francis’ request that we be Synodal, which means, “together on the way.” We plan on offering weekly themes and practices to help all of us become better disciples of Jesus Christ. This will begin in January 2022. These will be normal Catholic practices that we have perhaps forgotten or let slide. So, this will be a summons, yet again, to be built up by the Lord as part of his Body, the Household of Faith. To be a disciple does mean that we are willing to give of ourselves especially in sharing the great treasure of our faith, not putting it under a bushel basket but letting it shine for all whom we meet.

This focus on discipleship will serve us well as we begin to implement the recommendations of the Realignment of Resources for Mission Committee. These recommendations were made available to all of you in November. My hope is we will be able to put into place some of those arrangements this coming July.

The purpose of any change must be to help us be better disciples. We know that change can be difficult, and thus patience and humility are required so as to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us along the way.

The heart of all we do will be found in the Eucharist, which is the source of our life as Catholics and the highest point of our engagement as Catholics in the life of the Church. This perfect worship of the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and this sacred food which that same Jesus gave us for our salvation, are the best means for us to be disciples and to journey on the way of discipleship together. May our parishes be enriched by every Eucharist that is celebrated.

This Advent and Christmas, I invite you to pray for your parish, for your priests and deacons and consecrated persons, for all your lay sisters and brothers, especially those ministering in our midst, and to pray for our diocese, that, as the Local Church, we will manifest the Body of Christ to all around us. Blessings on all of you and please pray also for me.