This year we celebrate communion — communion in creed, communion in worship and communion in life. It is a time to consider how we are united in the doctrine and dogma of the Church and united in our worship, most especially in the celebration of the Mass.

It is at Mass that we are privileged to hear the Word of God, celebrate the Eucharist and receive Holy Communion; we are united in the call to live that communion with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Now is the time when the doors of churches are opening wide again as we make our way out of the Covid malaise to the new spring of the Church and our community.

Our schools and churches that were thriving pre-Covid are coming back in significant ways. More people are gathering for baptisms, the celebration of the sacraments, weddings and all those things that are part of our parish life. Many of our statewide ministries are thriving, including our men’s and women’s retreats with record numbers and the largest number of candidates for full membership in the Church at the Rite of Election at St. Joseph Cathedral in seven years.

We have much to celebrate but we need your support. This weekend or next weekend is the in-pew appeal at your church where I will be directly asking you to support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, an annual drive for the entire Catholic community to help us sustain our statewide ministries like Catholic schools, vocations, religious education programs and emergency aid to households in financial crisis. I ask you to please come to Mass with an open heart and listen to why your gift is so important.  You may also watch my video prior to the in-pew appeal at:

—Originally published in the May 28-June 3, 2022, edition of The Inland See.