This Sunday’s Gospel from John 14 is one of my favorites. In the time of Jesus, the groom had to build a home for his bride before they were married. Jesus is the Bridegroom, who tells his disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them so that “where I am you will be.” He desires to be in communion with us now and for eternity. Amazing!
Our diocese is so blessed with the influx of Hispanic people living here. Today, we celebrate Cinco De Mayo, which celebrates the undermanned Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862.
We are excited to be getting ready for the Year of Parish Revival, the second phase of the National Eucharistic Revival beginning on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 11. There will be four invitations for each parish to make: 1) Reinvigorate Worship 2) Personal Encounter 3) Robust Faith Formation 4) Missionary Sending. The task of each parish is to revive their parishioners in their love with Jesus in the Eucharist and to send them forth to share this love with others. Please join me in praying the prayer for the Eucharistic Revival found below.
Recently, I received in the mail a box with a bookend in it. The note attached came from a man who said he took the bookend from the old Sacred Heart School forty plus years ago and that his conscience led him to return it after all these years. Good for him!
On Monday, May 15, I am celebrating the Rural Life Mass on the Memorial of St. Isidore at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Concordia. I constantly pray for our farmers, especially for the gift of rain. I trust that God will provide. I also hope that the farmers are getting their crops planted without any problems.
Blessings to all our graduates from all our schools. May God bless you and all your future endeavors.
We are blessed with religious sisters and priests and brothers in our diocese. I look forward to being with the women religious in our diocese on May 16 at the Cathedral at 11 am. All are welcome to attend the Mass.
Each year, I celebrate a couple of Masses for parents of those who have had children die. Their stories are heart wrenching! This year’s Masses are at St. Joseph’s in Oakley at 2 pm on May 10 and at St. Edward’s in Belleville at 2 pm on May 11.
There will be several priest assignment changes. Thank you for your prayers and support of our priests. Please pray for vocations to the priesthood, as well as to the religious life and the calling of the laity to serve.
I was in Europe from April 17 – 27 as part of the USCCB Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. I landed in Rome and had a nice visit and dinner with my nephew, Charles, who is a seminarian for the Diocese of Saginaw at the North American College. The next day, I flew to Vienna, and then drove to Brataslava, Slovakia. We met with both lay and church leaders throughout the country. Slovakia seems like it’s on the right path in terms of their faith. Then we flew to Sofia and met with the people of Bulgaria. It was quite a contrast. Forty years of communism has impacted Bulgaria significantly. Perhaps the highlight of my trip was visiting a village of “gypsies,” certainly amongst the poorest of the poor. What I found edifying is that four Salesian priests from the Czech Republic started a school and Church for them. They still need a lot more money to finish the project, but they have already started with a few grades. The bishop’s committee supports this project because of the generosity of so many Americans. I thanked the four priests for being amongst the people.
The next issue of faith magazine, which will come out in a few weeks, focuses on our Blessed Mother and “moms.” May is Mary’s month. Our Blessed Mother loves us so much!
Hope you are enjoying the lovely temperatures. May you have a blessed month of May. With my love and prayers,
Bishop Jerry Vincke
A couple of quotes from Pope Francis:
“We seek answers more in front of the computer than in front of the crucifix, on the internet rather than the eyes of our brothers and sisters.”
“Let us be daring. Let us all rethink the style of our parochial communities. We pray that parishes, placing communion at the center, may increasingly become communities of faith, fraternity and welcome towards those most in need.”
Eucharistic Revival Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, you give us your flesh and blood for the life of the world, and you desire that all people come to the Supper of the Sacrifice of the Lamb. Renew in your Church the truth, beauty, and goodness contained in the Most Blessed Eucharist.
Jesus living in the Eucharist, come and live in me.
Jesus healing in the Eucharist, come and heal me.
Jesus sacrificing yourself in the Eucharist, come and suffer in me.
Jesus rising in the Eucharist, come and rise to new life in me.
Jesus loving in the Eucharist, come and love in me.
Lord Jesus Christ, through the paschal mystery of your death and resurrection made present in every Holy Mass, pour out your healing love on your Church and on our world. Grant that as we lift you up during this time of Eucharistic Revival, your Holy Spirit may draw all people to join us at this Banquet of Life. You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Eucharist, Pray for us.