Editor’s note: Fr. John Gerritts wrote this letter to Bishop James P. Powers on behalf of priests serving in the diocese.

May 19, 2020

Dear Bishop Powers and friends throughout the Diocese of Superior:

As we hear over and over, these are unprecedented times – especially for we, people of faith. Thinking back to when we celebrated the birth of Jesus this past Christmas or even began the season of Lent, none of us anticipated how we would be living our lives today, especially in regard to our lives of faith. No amount of planning or development of programs could have prepared us for these times. Thankfully we – our bishop, priests, deacons, religious, and laity of our Diocese – have our faith on which to rely.

Our faith is always enriched through the leadership of our bishop. We often take his leadership for granted. As priests with or serving in the Diocese of Superior, we take this opportunity to thank our bishop for his leadership during these unprecedented times. We appreciate that the decisions he and other bishops are making in regard to balancing opportunities for the reception of the sacraments, ministry, and faith formation – while protecting and safeguarding the health of parishioners and the general population – have been difficult and not always popular. As priests we want our bishop and the people of the Diocese of Superior to know that we believe God’s will is best served when we stand united with our bishop and one another.

At the Chrism Mass each year, priests throughout the world recommit ourselves to the promises we made at our ordination. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to do that this year. We wish with this letter to reaffirm our commitment to the promises we made on the day of our ordination. In particular we promise to “be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God in the holy Eucharist and other liturgical rites” amid the time of quarantine and as our churches open back up.

As the Renewal of Priestly Promises comes to end, the bishop asks the people “to pray for your priests.” We are grateful for your prayers. Let us all remember to pray daily for our brother, Bishop Powers, in gratitude for his ministry to our diocese.

Sincerely in Christ,

The Priests of the Diocese of Superior and those who serve our diocese