Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Sunday we heard our Lord “calling”(think of vocation) Peter and his fellow fisherman to put aside their nets and prepared to be “fishers of men”. They left that which was familiar to them and set out into the deep. We are here today because they engaged in the Church’s mission to bring the Good News of Christ to all the world. Certainly we need more men to hear that same call and “put out into the deep”. First, however, it requires a commitment to someone beyond themselves and that someone in Christ. Where does a young man learn to make such a selfless commitment? It begins in the family and experiencing the commitment that husband and wife, mother and father, make to each other in the sacrificial union of marriage. Vocations to the priesthood are born and fostered in the beauty of the more prevalent vocation of married life. A holy and healthy married life can flourish only when Christ is recognized as the bond that joins and holds two hearts together.
Today is World Marriage Day, annually celebrated close to Valentine’s Day. We pause to reflect on the necessary and vital vocation that is not only life- sacrificing but life-giving. The mystery of Christian married life is simple: ‘in giving one receives”. Husband and wife give without reserve to each other and thus receive more abundantly. That is the nature and mystery of Christian love. When couples follow this simple rule of married life they grow stronger in their love of God and each other. After all God Himself is the source of all true love. And when children experience this love of God and selfless love of spouses for each other they learn the most important lessons of life. A grace-filled family, faithful to Christ and His Church, will incubate the desire to give oneself for service to the Church. Valentine’s Day, World Marriage Day is not just a sentimental time for roses and candy but rather a time to appreciate what Divine love is and how husbands and wives are indeed called witness to that love.
I wish to commend all who were able to contribute to the Diocesan Annual Appeal. We were able to surpass our goal this year thanks to your generosity.. Thanks also to Bob and Mary Gan who once again served as chairpersons. Their inspiration and commitment put us over the top.
You will find in your bulletin today a most important flier regarding the future of our diocese. Vision 2030 clearly explains the Mission and projections of where we are presently and were we expect to be in the next ten years. Please read over it carefully and pray ardently for an increase of vocations to the priesthood.