March 1, 2021

I pray this letter finds you healthy and safe. May the Lenten journey we are on be one of growing ever closer to the love of our Lord and ever deeper in our relationship to him.

As you know, going back to Pope St. Paul VI there has been an increasing call for all the faithful to acknowledge that we are in changing times. The time of Christendom, when our lives were basically inspired and directed by Christian principles, is quickly fading away. We need to acknowledge our ancient roots and embrace the fact that the Catholic Church is an evangelizing church.

This past year has been one of great challenges in many ways. We can either simply lament the past, or we can work to turn these challenges into opportunities. Over the past year, I have been meeting with groups of our diocesan staff, pastors and parish leaders to discuss these trying times. The common theme of our meetings was the need to move the Diocese of Superior from “maintenance to mission.”

Specifically, the mission of evangelization of souls both within the church and beyond.

In response to the fruits of those meetings, I am both excited and pleased to announce that as of Monday, March 1, I have appointed Christopher Hurtubise to be the director of a new diocesan office: the Office of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship.

The Office of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship will work in close collaboration with the Department of Catholic Formation and several other diocesan offices, with the goal of infusing all of our efforts with the Christ-given mission of making “disciples of all nations.” This office will also work directly with pastors and other parish leaders to refocus parish-level efforts.

In his new role, Christopher will continue leading many of the ministries he has been building up for the past five years as our associate director of Catholic Formation. He will continue to work in conjunction with Peggy Schoenfuss and the Department of Catholic Formation.

I am currently working with Christopher and a handful of other diocesan leaders to finalize plans for some very exciting initiatives that the new office will be leading – these efforts will be designed to bring the focus of evangelization and missionary discipleship to the forefront of all our minds and efforts. Details will be announced as they become available.

In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Christopher to his new role. Let us all pray for success as we embark on our new evangelization journey. May the hope and promise of the risen Lord give us courage and strength along the way.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. James P. Powers
Bishop, Diocese of Superior