This week, I would like to introduce my new blog, Building Faith. This blog is not only the fruit of the diocesan Rebuilding in Faith and Hope initiative but also a wonderful way to celebrate my fifth year as Bishop of Fall River.
In April 2017, I shared this story in my Rebuilding in Faith and Hope Pastoral Letter. Over two years later, now with a Strategic Plan, carefully developed by over 400 volunteers, I would like to launch my blog with this same sentiment of hope.
Returning to the Sacristy after celebrating Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, a woman approached me to ask a question. She said, “Bishop, I’ve been reading in the diocesan newspaper [The Anchor] about all the initiatives you are taking and the new people you’ve hired. Before, I felt worried about some of the challenges facing our Church, but now I’m feeling more hopeful than ever about the future of our Diocese. Is this real or am I dreaming?” I share this experience with you — in all humility — because it expresses exactly what I hope every priest, religious and layperson in our Diocese will feel someday soon: a profound sense of hope for the future! (Read Pastoral Letter here)
It is my desire to utilize this weekly blog, which will post every Wednesday, to build community within our diocese, strengthen our faith, and share the many activities a Bishop is blessed to participate in.
Celebrating Our Lady Aparecida at St. Pius X School
As Bishop, I am pleased to be invited to participate in many events throughout the Fall River Diocese. On Friday, October 11, in honor of the Brazilian population on Cape Cod, the children of St. Pius X School hosted its second annual Our Lady Aparecida celebration. The staff and students of St. Pius X School shined acting out the apparition, singing songs in Portuguese, and offering a delicious spread of Brazilian food.
I offered a short reflection, during which I reminded them of their responsibility to continue to tell the stories of our faith, so that their children and grandchildren, can share in the rich traditions of the Catholic church. I was also invited to present a flower and prayer to “a living statue” of Our Lady Aparecida. This student took her role so seriously, I questioned whether she blinked once during the entire flowers and prayers ceremony. Truly a wonderful way for the St. Pius X students to learn about another culture and come together to celebrate as a community. It was an honor to be invited to take part.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha