Last Friday, on what was the 7th anniversary of my installation as Bishop of Fall River, I released a new Pastoral Letter, “Journeying Together: With Jesus on the Path of Faith and Hope.” This letter introduces three areas of focus for the Diocese, as well as mission steps for individuals, parishes, and the Diocese to take over the next four years.
Outlined within the letter, the priorities include:
- Invitational Witness – Come & See
- Sacramental Living – Follow Me
- Vocational Pathways – Go Out & Make Disciples
In my Pastoral Letter, I ask each of us to consider what legacy we wish to leave for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. If we are to leave a legacy of authentic and lived faith, we must embrace our baptism and courageously bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ through the way we live our lives. We can do this, but to be most effective, we must do this together, as a community of believers centered on Christ, especially his presence in the Eucharist.
When shared daily through how we live and further exhibited by our actions, our faith becomes the best means of evangelization. I invite you to move forward, as an “Easter People,” ever hopeful that God is at work in the world and willing to proclaim the Gospel and build the Church, together, as the People of God. Together we can help shine the Light of the world in a time it is most needed, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
I invite and encourage you to read “Journeying Together,” available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, on the Fall River Diocese website.
Annual Procession and Mass for Peace
On Monday, October 11, the Columbus Day holiday, we will have our annual Procession and Mass for Peace. For over 40 years now, our Diocese has maintained this beautiful tradition of gathering together to pray for peace on the holiday, which falls near and sometimes even on the date of the October 13th anniversary of the final apparition of our Blessed Mother in Fatima in 1917. Her request to the three children to whom she appeared over six times that year was to pray for peace, and our tradition of a Columbus Day procession and Mass is a response to her urgent appeal.
Our procession will leave from the area in front of St. Anne’s Shrine at 6 p.m. With our lighted candles, we will pray and march to nearby St. Mary’s Cathedral. I will celebrate the Mass for Peace there at 7 p.m. I invite everyone to take part. It seems no matter the year, as we gather for this event, peace and justice remain elusive in so many areas and to so many of God’s children.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha