I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity that the Faith in Our Future Campaign has afforded me to be with you and your parishioners. I have personally attended approximately 80 receptions since the Campaign began last spring. And now, as we approach attaining and exceeding our overall goal, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for your dedicated involvement, doing all the hard work you did to help to ensure this Campaign would be a success. Thank you!
The personal interaction with the faithful of our Diocese that occurred through the reception phase of the Campaign could not have been matched. Now comes the very important task of following through with the necessary communications to help ensure each and every one of our Diocesan members is kept informed in regard to the progress of our Campaign. As you well know, from the very beginning I have stated the most important means of ongoing communication will be through the use of regular updates in our own Catholic Herald.
Unfortunately, I have been asked many times already why there has not been any information forthcoming regarding the progress of our Faith in Our Future Campaign. Of course I inquire of those who are questioning if they receive the Catholic Herald. As you may or may not know, since March there have been seven such updates. Even more importantly, there will continue to be many, many more these next four years and well beyond.
Obviously, it has been difficult for me to hear the requests for such updates when numerous articles throughout the Campaign have already been printed. The use of the Catholic Herald and pulpit announcements will be two of the most advantageous and cost-effective means of keeping our parishioners informed, all the while helping to ensure the successful follow-through of those pledges that have already been made.
As we move forward with the Faith in Our Future Campaign, I feel it most important to take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of making sure that all our faithful parishioners are receiving the Catholic Herald into their homes. This helps each of us within the Diocese to know the overall success, as well as the local accomplishments, as they relate to the rebates the individual parishes receive; keeping as many people as possible informed of parish involvement will only strengthen ongoing interest and commitment as well.
Pope Benedict XVI stated in 2010 that the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming Christian consciences and reflecting the Church’s viewpoint on contemporary issues. He said the Catholic newspaper still has a vital role to play in diocesan communications.
A primary task of the Catholic newspaper, he said, is to “give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thinking on all ethical and social questions. The printed newspaper, because of its easy and widespread distribution, remains an effective way of spreading news about local diocesan events and developments, including charity initiatives.”
I would add, as you are already well aware, many of our faithful members, and members of our families who no longer attend church, are very interested in hearing news of our current Holy Father, Pope Francis. I personally believe there is no better place to read accurate and uplifting information about him, and his influence on our universal and local Church, than in our own Catholic, Diocesan newspaper.
Therefore, I ask that you please encourage your parishioners who are no longer receiving the Catholic Herald to do so by subscribing. In no way do we want to weaken our opportunities to stay informed on important Church matters, nor do we want to weaken the progress we have all worked so hard to achieve in the Faith in Our Future Campaign.
For all of you who already promote reception and subscriptions of our paper, you have my heartfelt gratitude. And, once again, for all who have offered exemplary work toward the success of our Campaign, I am indebted as well. Continued blessings on your ministry as it is strengthened by the grace Our Lord Jesus provides, as I remain —
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend Peter F. Christensen