Last fall I was able to join several other priests in hearing confessions for more than 100 college students who were on retreat from the University of Minnesota Newman Center at St. Lawrence. Recently, Archbishop Bernard Hebda celebrated the sacrament of confirmation for three inmates at Lino lakes state prison. In October, I led eucharistic adoration for more than 1,200 high school students at Archdiocesan Youth Day. More than 30,000 Latinos attended services for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in our parishes this year. Our two priests at the archdiocesan mission in Venezuela brought the sacraments and the love of Jesus to one of the poorest places in the world in their parish, which numbers 65,000 faithful. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was ranked fifth in the country the last three years for the number of priests ordained, as we ordained 26 new priests in the last three years and will ordain 10 more in May.
What do all these facts have in common? They were all made possible by the Catholic Services Appeal.
As an auxiliary bishop who travels throughout the archdiocese, I see so much good done in Christ’s name. I feel so blessed because I get to see God’s incredible work in so many places. If you could follow me around, you would be inspired by the way people are living their faith in this archdiocese.
Pope Francis has told us we must find ways to bring Christ to the peripheries to the places where he is not, and this is exactly what the Catholic Services Appeal Foundation does. It reaches those people who would otherwise fall through the cracks because no individual parish can do these ministries alone, but, together, we must do them. Whether it is supporting hospital chaplains, Catholic Charities or deaf ministry, whether it is enabling evangelization efforts, marriage preparation or providing a Catholic education for many whom it would be out of reach for, so much good is being done that could not be done if we did not join together to support these important ministries.
In St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25, we see a picture of what the end of time will be like. The Gospel says that we will stand before our merciful and loving savior and he will say, “Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). He will remind us that whenever we fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked and visited the sick or imprisoned, it was actually Jesus we were serving.
The Catholic Services Appeal offers us a chance to be a part of this incredible mission that we all share as Catholics. Through the appeal, you can bring Jesus to some of the places where his love is most needed. I’m delighted to make my sacrificial contribution to join in all this incredible work being done in Christ’s name.
Will you join with me in supporting this important work? “Truly, I say to you, whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
Category: Only Jesus