Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This month, I had the privilege of presiding at three Rite of Election ceremonies for 174 catechumens (individuals never baptized), and 315 candidates (individuals baptized but seeking confirmation) at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. In all this year, 489 people will become full members of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in their parishes. And, nearly 2,000 young people will complete the sacraments of initiation when they are confirmed this spring.
Father Michael Pendergraft, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, invites the community to participate in a Lenten Retreat featuring world-renown Franciscan Friar Simeon Gallagher. The retreat is March 25-28, with talks beginning at 7 p.m. each evening. The theme for the retreat is “A Spirituality of Relationships.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Each year, through Mother Church, God “gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed… as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ” (Preface of Lent I). We can thus journey from Easter to Easter towards the
fulfilment of the salvation we have already received as a result of Christ’s paschal mystery – “for in hope we were saved” (Rom 8:24). This mystery of salvation, already at work in us during our earthly lives, is a dynamic process that also embraces history and all of creation. As Saint Paul
says, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8:19). In this perspective, I would like to offer a few reflections to accompany our journey of conversion this coming Lent.
by Savanna Kearney
The 34th annual Faith Formation Day was held at Bishop John J. Snyder High School Saturday, Oct. 13. The event began with Mass at 8:30 a.m. celebrated by Bishop Felipe Estévez. Following Mass, the bishop gave the keynote talk, in which he addressed the sexual abuse crisis. He acknowledged to those in attendance that this is a painful time for the church, but, he also examined the positive changes that are happening as a result, including new activity regarding the protection of minors and vulnerable adults in the church, as well as those in authority examining their responsibilities in leadership.
Catholic Charities is hosting its 15th Annual Festival d’Vine on Friday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Treaty Oak Park in San Marco (1123 Prudential Drive). The always-popular event serves as a primary fundraiser for the Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office of the Diocese of St. Augustine, with all proceeds going toward the agency’s six major programs.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is responding to an earthquake that struck Friday night just off the coast of Donggala in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The 7.5 magnitude quake triggered an unexpected tsunami, which hit the city of Palu, destroying homes and businesses in its path. While the scope of destruction is unclear, initial government reports indicate a death toll of 400 as of Saturday evening, but communications are down, and emergency teams have not reached all affected areas.
More than 3,200 Hispanic ministry leaders and about 125 bishops from across the country processed into the conference center in Grapevine, Texas, to kick-off the highly anticipated Fifth National Encuentro for Hispanic Ministry, which will continue to unfold over the next three days through Sept. 23. Following a multiyear process of prayerful discernment and consultation in parishes and dioceses in the U.S., leaders from around the country have come together seeking answers to how the Church can respond to the growing Hispanic population and develop a new pastoral plan that will address its many challenges.
- Called to be Everyday Stewards
- “Johnny Can’t Pray: Engagement for the Kingdom. ” – clergy session
- Legacy Giving in Stewardship
- The Vibrant Community That Your Parish Can Be
- Engaging Parish Youth
- And new this year – A Stewardship Resource Panel
Bishop Felipe Estévez and 19 local Catholics will join 3,000 delegates in Grapevine, Texas, Sept. 20-23, for the Fifth National Encuentro – Missionary Disciples, Witnesses of God’s Love. Among the local delegates are young people, new and emerging leaders, and seasoned leaders of the Diocese of St. Augustine.