Sunday, May 24, 2015

United Catholic Appeal: Parish Bulletin--5-24-15

            Sorry for neglecting to turn in my bulletin last week.  I bet you were all waiting with bated breath to read the babblings!  Here goes…
This weekend I would like to make a few points regarding our annual United Catholic Appeal (UCA) campaign which has officially began.
            Since we are in a remote location within our Diocese, it may be challenging to witness the many blessings God has bestowed on our regional Catholic Church.  But did you know that the Diocese of Duluth is considered a leader in our state and even nation in several areas of ministry?  Consider the following:

·      Between 2006-2009, we were in the top five in our country (per capita) for our number of seminarians (those studying to be priests).  We were as high as fourth.  FOURTH!
·      Since then, many of our seminarians became priests (including me).  This means that we now have one of the youngest collective priesthoods in the nation.
·      Our efforts in faith formation are recognized nationally through the leadership of Fr. Mike Schmitz (UMD Newman Center chaplain and the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry).

One of my goals as pastor is to continue strengthening the relationship between our parishes and the Diocese of Duluth.  This means both continuing to invite people to come here and seeking opportunities for formation out of town.
In this spirit I am grateful for the visit from Aubry Haben last weekend.  She was another example that many from around our diocese want to spend time in the northernmost part of the state!  I hope her words inspired you to be generous.
Similarly, this summer we have the privilege of hosting a seminarian—Beau Braun.  Beau is a great man and I can’t wait until we serve as brother priests in our diocese!  He is also the younger brother of one of my best friends, Fr. Drew Braun (pastor in Cook, Tower and Orr).  Beau is on track to be ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Duluth in 2016 and a priest in 2017.  God willing, he will serve for many decades as a priest in our Diocese after that. 
Through Aubry’s words last weekend and Beau’s service this summer, I hope you will continue to see just how blessed we are in our parishes and throughout the Diocese of Duluth.  None of this would be possible without your spiritual and financial support both to our parishes and to our Diocese. 
My challenge to you—let’s raise $45,000 by December 31st for UCA.  This would cover our assessment (just under $40,000) and chip into what we owe from the past.
Thank you and God bless!

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