“In the name of Jesus” was issued on Ash Wednesday. In his first pastoral letter, Bishop Lucia lays down a pastoral plan and invites the faithful of the Diocese to consider five areas of focus. He asks that parish churches be places where people come no matter what they are facing or struggling with. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church is doing much of what the bishop asks, but we can always respond more generously. You are invited to read the letter on the diocese or parish website and consider how, in both your own life and parish life, we might increase our efforts in the areas of (1) proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2) prayer (3) acknowledging sins (4) service (5) pastoral leadership.
In his pastoral letter, Bishop Lucia announced that the diocese would hold a synod in the coming years. The process, spelled out in canon law, provides a bishop with an opportunity to work together with the people of the diocese to create communion, reform, and improve pastoral organization and coordination. Bishop Lucia foresees that this process will give the people of the Diocese to provide input as we look together at “the already and not yet.” Other diocese in the United States have found the process to be very rewarding. These synodal experiences have helped dioceses celebrate their past accomplishments, chart a course out of crisis and facilitate communion between a new bishop and his people. Additionally, they have helped local Churches recommit to the work of mission and evangelization as they proclaim the “joy of the Gospel” before the world.