We are pleased to announce the start of the 2018
Bishop’s Diocesan Ministry Campaign “Seeing Jesus
in Others”. The overall goal for this year’s campaign
is $450,000 and our parish goal is $25,000 and $4,000
for Our Lady of Lourdes for 2018. The campaign
starts the first week of September and will run until
December 31, 2018. Your donation envelopes will be
available in the church lobby September 1st.

When Jesus walked on this earth, he entered a world of
tension and confusion. There was political unrest, social
upheaval, class distinctions, community divisions and much
religious tension. To respond to these issues and to bring
some hope to mankind, he began a ministry of compassion,
love and peace, emphasizing the love of God for all. As we
examine the world around us, we can see many of those
same tensions present today. How do we respond to these
tensions and divisions? As disciples of the Lord, we are
called to follow his example, and to be a people of
compassion, love and peace in our interaction with others.
That is the message of the Gospel that Jesus has given us.
He told us that whenever we do something generous for the
poorest among us, we are doing it to the Lord himself. In
this way we recognize the Lord Jesus in the people around
us; we see the Lord Jesus in others. Our diocesan campaign
this year has this theme in mind, as we seek to respond to
the tensions, concerns, and needs that surround us in our
diocese. Each year, these needs increase, and each year, as
a diocesan family, we seek to respond by helping others, by
showing the compassion and concern demonstrated by
Jesus, and by recognizing that the Lord is present in the
people we are called to serve. Once again, I ask you, the
faithful people of our diocese, to respond generously to this
campaign and to assist me and the priests, deacons and
other ministers, who reach out with the caring hands and
heart of the Lord. Our campaign does not change much
from year to year, and that is because the needs and
concerns are always present. In some cases they become
even more challenging for us as time goes on. Your
generosity responds to the needs of families, in particular
through our assistance to Catholic Family Development,
the Dew Drop Inn, the Catholic Action Community, the
Refugee program and through our Catholic Support
Programs. Your donation responds to the needs of our
young people through the Youth Ministry Office supporting
programs for youth, the chaplaincy at our university, TEC
and World Youth Day encouragement. Some of the
campaign funds go to the ongoing education of our priests,
for study days, retreat days and for the program that teaches
and educates our Permanent Deacons and our Ministers of
Service. We encourage vocations to the priesthood and to
religious life, and we assist priests who are retired with
their health care programs. Our Adult Faith Office and the
Office of Worship help the entire diocesan family with
ongoing faith education and liturgical development. A good
portion of the campaign assists struggling parishes with
their financial needs. With dwindling populations and the
lack of employment, many of our smaller, remote parishes
struggle to sustain themselves and their resident priest, and
our campaign gives them hope and supports them in many
ways. As the bishop I am very grateful to everyone who
donates to this campaign. I thank my priests for their
support in encouraging you to participate. I know that
everyone is called to assist charities throughout our area
each year, and I appreciate it very much when you make
my annual Ministries Campaign a priority for your
donation. Pope Francis continually reminds us that we need
to be the hands and heart of Jesus in our lives. He
demonstrates this most evidently in his compassionate
embrace of the sick, the lonely, the children, the prisoner
and those who feel abandoned and alone. He sees the face
of Jesus in the people and he reaches out to them in
compassion and love. He truly follows the example of Jesus
in his ministry and life. It reminds us that in our service to
others, especially to the poor and to the needy and those
struggling and without hope, we are in service to Jesus, as
we see the Lord in the faces of those we are called to serve.
Recognizing his presence in others, through our generosity,
they in turn will recognize Jesus in us. May we always see
Jesus in those whom we meet and serve, for that is our call,
as followers and disciples of the Lord. Thank you again,
most sincerely.