Join Us Sept. 22 At The Breslin Center
ARE YOU JOINING US at the Breslin Center on Sept. 22? This will be our third Diocesan Assembly since we began our efforts to respond to Jesus’ call to us to announce the Gospel of the Lord. The first one in 2014 focused on our clergy and parish employees and their desire to build up the Household of Faith: our parishes. The second one in 2015 brought these same folks and many more lay volunteer leaders to seek ways to bring back our Lost Sheep. I know each of us has been praying for someone to come home to the Church. This last assembly is for 10,000- 15,000 of you, our faithful Catholics to see how we might change the culture around us and – perhaps – in our own hearts.
Our diocesan mission is the same: “We exist to form communities of missionary disciples, who go announce the Gospel of the Lord.” This is what Jesus has asked of us and, weak and sinful as we are, we want to be equipped to respond to him generously. We will begin that Saturday morning with a eucharistic procession for 3.5 miles from the cathedral to the Breslin Center in East Lansing. We don’t expect everyone to participate in that part of the day. But for those of you who can join us, we want to present the joy of our Lord and of our faith to our community. We really believe that Jesus is Lord – Lord of our lives and Lord of our world. Let him reign!
Then the afternoon will be a series of presentations to motivate us to become better disciples of Jesus than we already are. We will close with the Sunday Mass that evening so that we can be sent back to our parishes with renewed boldness and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The theme that has been developed for this day is that we were made for happiness. This may seem a bit gimmicky to some, but there is a deep truth here. God made us for himself and he has loved us so much that he sent his Son to become one of us, to die for us and to give us his Holy Spirit. Why? So that we might be happy with him forever in heaven.
When I arrived in Lansing 10 years ago, one of the reporters asked me what my vision was. The first thing that came to my mind was “to get everyone to heaven.” That is what the Father in heaven wants for us, so that should be our first aim – happiness with God. But there should be a burning desire in each of our hearts not just to share in this happiness, but to want this same happiness for those we love and, even, for all peoples of the earth. However, as Paul wrote to the Romans (10:14): “But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?”
My sisters and brothers, join us on Sept. 22 so that more of us will be able to fill this gap, this breach, and announce the Gospel of the Lord to all.