Study, prayer and action bring us closer to God

A conversation with Bishop Michael O. Jackels
Editor’s note: The TOGETHER vision includes a special appeal that aims to benefit seminarian education, the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund, the St. Maria De Mattias Endowment Fund and a renovation of the Cathedral campus.
The St. Maria De Mattias Endowment Fund is a grant program with the potential to benefit individuals or groups or parishes all together. The only limit is our creativity in developing innovative programs and identifying resources to help us grow in our understanding of the faith.
Why do you need to grow in your understanding of the faith?
It would be a gross error and disservice for any member of the Church to describe himself or herself as an old dog incapable of learning new tricks. That axiom does not apply to us because as long as we live, we grow – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Our faith is an essential part of the relationship that we have with God.
Imagine if a wife said of her husband or a husband of his wife, “I don’t need to or want to learn any more about this person. I know all there is to know.” It would be foolish to make such a statement. And if they did, their relationship would stop growing. And if it stops growing, it will end.
The same applies to our relationship of faith with God. If it stops growing, it will end.
We have to look for opportunities to grow that relationship through some kind of study. It is not enough to learn to be able to site scripture. Even the devil can site scripture, and he didn’t love God.
Any kind of faith-related study should lead us to prayer, which is the purest expression of our relationship with God. Our study should also lead to some kind of lived-out action, such as humble service or forgiveness.
If we fail to grow our relationship of faith, we stand the risk of losing something of incomparable value. The St. De Mattias fund enables people to develop programs; to participate in programs and to have resources available to grow that relationship.
One of the first questions of the Baltimore catechism is “Why did God make me?” God made you to know him, love him, and serve him, so as to be happy with him in this world and in the next.
So the St. De Mattias fund provides means by which we can fulfill a divine purpose for our creation – ultimately to be happy with God in heaven for all eternity but also to be happy in this life with God. And that happiness is rooted in knowing God.

Goals of the TOGETHER vision
• Strengthen the oneness between parish and diocese.
• Deepen our practice of stewardship as a way of life, sharing responsibility for the mission of the Church.
• Invite everyone to help fund seminarian education, Catholic formation programs and a renovation of the Cathedral campus.