Many activities, blessings mark fall’s arrival

| September 23, 2010
Archbishop Nienstedt

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

While the summer months never seem to slow down enough, September, by way of contrast, has certainly been characterized by a flurry of activities.

One of the highlights for me thus far has been the opening Mass at The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, which this year marks a record enrollment of 98 resident students of which 40 seminarians are from this archdiocese. What a tremendous blessing that is!

The blessings continue this Saturday, when I will be ordaining eight men to the diaconate, again another sign of the Lord’s goodness to us as a local church. Then, there are the restarts to “lectio divina” at the University of St. Thomas, pastoral visits to both seminaries and parishes and a whole host of regular board meetings.

This year, I have also accepted an invitation to celebrate a September Sunday evening liturgy at St. John’s University in Collegeville for the students there.

Prayers requested

October also appears to be an equally busy month of activity. Meetings are being scheduled around the announcement of our new Strategic Plan for Parishes and Schools, which will be made on the weekend of Oct. 16-17.

I continue to ask for the prayers of everyone in the archdiocese for the specific intention of a general understanding and acceptance of the decisions that have to be made.

In addition, Oct. 2-3 will mark Respect Life Sunday at the weekend liturgies. This is another opportunity for Catholics of all ages to renew their respect for every human being from conception to natural death.

Since mid-term elections are a month away, this Sunday also offers us the opportunity of stressing how important the issue of life is in building a society that ought to protect and defend the most vulnerable among us, especially the un­born and the aged. We must do all in our power to create a culture of life, and our use of the ballot box on Nov. 2 is one concrete way of doing so.

October is also Criminal Jus­tice Month, which draws our attention to the issues of criminal justice and imprisonment. Concerns in this area range from questions of rehabilitation, education and job training for inmates to programs of reorientation and assistance for those leaving prison.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to foster the virtue of justice for all, which is, after all, an expression of love. Ideas on how to commemorate this theme may be found at

Witnessing to Christ

On Sunday, Oct. 10, we are given the opportunity to renew our Christian commitment to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. On that day in this archdiocese, we will be celebrating World Mission Sunday, in which we join with Catholics worldwide in our common call to be the Body of Christ and to give witness to Christ in all we say and do.

Our missionary mandate as a Catholic Church is to reveal the face of Christ to a seeking, wounded and hungry world. What is the face that we reflect to the world around us? How do we magnify the Lord? And how can the missionary mandate of Christ be fulfilled without a profound personal, communal and pastoral conversion to Christ?

World Mission Sunday is therefore a call to conversion. We are privileged to encounter the real presence of Christ in every Eucharist and there to taste the love that God has for us. This is the communion we can’t keep to ourselves, but that must be shared.

I ask each Catholic to be generous in your prayer and support of World Mission Sunday. Your financial support of the Pontifical Mission Societies will give concrete help to young churches in the Third World. You make it possible for the formation of future leaders in the most distant mission lands.

Together, we stand in solidarity and gratitude with the missionaries who leave their homelands to be witnesses of the face of Christ in places of great challenge. We are part of God’s plan “that the whole human race form one people of God, be united in the one body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit” (Ad Gentes, n. 7).

God bless you!


Category: Only Jesus

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