Bishop Columns

Bishop Columns

 

October 2018 Four County Catholic

“As I Have Loved You”

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Three words. Love One Another. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles and by extension all of us with this simple directive.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)

October is Respect Life month. The theme this year is Every Life: Cherished. Chosen. Sent.

As our Holy Father Pope Francis so clearly tells us, “All life has inestimable value, even the weakest and most vulnerable. The sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

We, as Christians, have been manifesting this love for one another for nearly two thousand years. One cannot speak of love of others without speaking of dignity. Today, the Catholic Church continues to be an outspoken and unwavering leader regarding the dignity of the human being from the moment of conception until natural death. Parents who lovingly embrace and care for a child with a disability; adult children who care for their elderly parents; doctors and nurses providing palliative care to people at the end of life; are all living the commandment to Love One Another.

As we contemplate the full expanse of respecting life, we must sorrowfully acknowledge the failings of the Church and, in some instances its shepherds themselves, to protect and respect life. These failings, as you know from my briefings, are being addressed at every level. We will overcome past failings and follow a “never again” path forward for abuse of any kind. I assure you of this and of continuing updates.

Sometimes it helps us to wander outside our comfort zone in order to stretch ourselves spiritually. One such way may be through prayer, fasting and being a visible witness at the peaceful prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood in Norwich. On September 25th we celebrated the vigil mass to kick-off the 40 Days for Life campaign. This campaign runs through November 4th. It is not too late to get involved. For more information about participating, contact the 40 Days for Life team at 860-875- 5770 or visit 40DaysForLife.com/Norwich.

The life of the church is a life of prayer. October is also the month of the Holy Rosary. Saint Pope John Paul II, whose feast day is on the 22nd, was a proponent of the rosary. So much so, that he gave us the five decades of the Rosary known as the Mysteries of Light. The Rosary is a wonderful devotional prayer which I invite you to integrate into your daily life. Great peace, wisdom and many blessings can spring forth from this ancient meditative practice.

And finally, I want to point out two masses this month that are shining examples of the Respect Life theme. The 26th Annual Firefighters/ EMS Mass and the 2nd Annual Partnership on Disability Mass are, each in their own unique way, celebrations of Every Life: Cherished, Chosen and Sent. I invite you to join me in supporting our brothers and sisters through your attendance at one or both of these celebrations.

Sincerely yours in Christ

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
201 Broadway
Norwich, CT 06360-4328
Phone: 860-887-9294