As we look forward to 2021 and beyond, let us, as people of faith, embrace our call to witness the Good News. To answer this call for not only today but also that future generations can come to know and understand the beauty of the Catholic faith. May we also look back at the previous year as a time when our faith was reborn. A time when we used the pause of our usual way of life to rekindle our values and traditions of faith. May we take the lessons we have learned on sharing our faith virtually or from a distance forward into the future with us.
I genuinely hope we emerge from these difficult times ready to bring forth a revitalized faith to our Diocese. I envision coming together to build avenues that not only invite people back but can also be used to reach new people. We should be considering how we will extend an invitation to welcome people, either those away during the pandemic, or those who have been away a long time, back to our churches. It is time for a revival in our hearts, our homes, our parishes, and our Diocese.
There remains time for us to renew our faith as we continue to wait for the end to covid-19 restrictions and a return to in-person church activities. This past year has been very eye-opening to the work still needed by the church. We can’t afford to wait for people to come back; we must embrace our times now and find ways to engage those seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If we live as Jesus’ disciples, we will, by our testimony—and a real commitment to evangelization—help make disciples of all men and women. However, we can’t do it alone. We need to work together. It means coming together as a Diocese, including priests, deacons, catechists, ministry leaders, educators, anyone eager to embrace and share their faith. To see all the faithful take a more active role in the transmission of faith—ready to bring our children up in the practice of faith, beginning with their baptism.
In the weeks and months ahead, I hope to engage in more conversation about how we can provide meaningful opportunities for families and individuals to become involved and strengthen their faith. We all need to be formed in the faith, to continue to learn with excitement and enthusiasm the good news of Jesus Christ.
Litany of Saint Joseph
The USCCB has shared on their website the Litany of St. Joseph, which may be recited during the Year of Saint Joseph (December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021) to obtain a plenary indulgence. The Litany of Saint Joseph has been included among other prayers to St. Joseph enriched with a plenary indulgence (see Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued Dec. 8, 2020, section E), which may be earned once a day subject to the usual conditions: sacramental confession, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Pope, and a total detachment to all sin, including venial sin. The Litany offers an interesting insight into the Church’s view of St. Joseph through the many titles for St. Joseph used within the prayer. Visit the USCCB website to learn more and find the entire text of the prayer.
Prayers for Respect and Peace
In light of last week’s violence in our nation’s capital, I urge you to join me in praying for respect for all and peace in the coming week as our country prepares for the inauguration of our new president.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha