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A conversation with Bishop Michael O. Jackels
Obviously, the existence of the Church itself is not dependent upon this TOGETHER vision nor is our Diocese dependent on me or any one of us. But the growth of the Church and the growth of its mission is dependent upon each of our response to the invitation.
The first goal of the TOGETHER vision – to strengthen the sense of oneness across our Diocese – catechizes people about who we are as Catholics. TOGETHER reminds us that there is no solitary Christian. As soon as we profess faith and are baptized, we become members of the Body of Christ, the family of God, the community of believers.
The old adage says “there are strength in numbers.” When children play Red Rover, they’re strongest when they have more arms linked together. The team is made stronger by collaboration and cooperation just as our Church is made stronger with a greater understanding of our unity.
And this understanding is related to our second goal – to deepen our practice of stewardship where each of us shares responsibility for the mission of the Church. Again, an old adage says “many hands make light work.” If everyone pitches in, it’s not a burden of a ministry. The work of the Church is made easy by collaboration and cooperation. And we don’t have to think of stewardship as being a big undertaking.
I travel to all of these churches, and obviously somebody had to clean the church because they’re clean when I come to visit. You know somebody came forward to read the readings or to be a cantor or to play a musical instrument or to greet people at the door or to take up the gifts, and we could go on and on. Each one represents somebody bearing their share of responsibility. As we continue to teach and understand stewardship, our diocese grows.
And certainly the beneficiaries of our financial support are all about the future growth of our diocese.
It almost seems offensive to belabor the point that we can’t practice our Catholic faith without the ministry of a priest. We wouldn’t have the Eucharist that forms us as a body, the Eucharist that nourishes our Christian life, the Eucharist that prepares us to be sent out to take part in the mission of the Church. We wouldn’t have the ordinary way by which our sins are forgiven in confession. We wouldn’t have someone to prepare us for our final leg of our journey home to heaven.
Catholic Formation Programs
To be able to support parish efforts for religious education – whether it’s through a Catholic school, a PSR program, RCIA, a bible study or any kind of adult education – that’s even more fundamental to the growth of our Church because we can’t love what we don’t know. Consider the priesthood as an example. There’s no young man who’s going to answer the call of God if he doesn’t know God and know how God calls and know the voice of God. He won’t recognize it. The call will fall on deaf ears.
Cathedral Campus Renovation
And I suppose all of this can be summed up in the Cathedral, which stands as a symbol of who we are and what we do as the Body of Christ, the Church, the community of believers, the family of God in the Diocese of Wichita. Our Cathedral is meant to be a symbol of the beauty and the vigor of the Church in our Diocese. It should be a source of righteous pride for us. This, the mother church of our Diocese, reflects people who worship God in thanksgiving and praise, who go forth from it to teach others about Christ and to serve others.
So please pray the Hail Mary each day – commending to Mary’s intercession the spiritual and material success of the TOGETHER vision. Please consider prayerfully a financial gift in support of the TOGETHER vision goals. Because your prayers and your sacrificial gift are essential to the future growth of the Church and its mission in our Diocese.
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.
Where will Bishop Jackels visit next?
Bishop Michael O. Jackels continues his TOGETHER vision visits. Here is a< schedule for the next few weekends.
Oct. 16-17, Ft. Scott
Oct. 23-24, El Dorado
Oct. 30-31, Andover
Nov. 6-7, Oswego