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‘This is a new moment in the life of the Church’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

April 2, 2014

On Valentine’s Day of last year, the Diocese of Ogdensburg set out on a quest for clarity of mission.  Given my desire for close collaboration with others, I established an Envisioning Leadership Team to help me assess our needs and priorities as a diocese.  

With this task in mind, this “team,” made up of women and men from throughout the Diocese, met for day-long meetings once a month since February 2013.

As you know, I held several Listening Sessions throughout our Diocese last year to hear a broad cross-section of our diocesan sisters and brothers so that the fruits of the Leadership Team’s labors would reflect the pulse of our parishioners’ experience and concerns. 

The formal aspect of this envisioning process concludes with the announcement of our five-year vision and key priorities for ministry that have been established for every parish in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.

At the Chrism Mass, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, at 11am on Wednesday, April 9th, we will formally announce our Mutually Shared Vision and Diocesan Priorities, including six specific Goals that will address the three priorities that have been established for the next five years. 

Parishioners from every parish in the Diocese will be present with a parish representative receiving a framed Proclamation of these Priorities and Goals for each parish.

This is a very exciting, hope-filled time for the Diocese of Ogdensburg. During the Year of Faith we have been re-energized to recommit ourselves to Jesus Christ and to share our faith with our sisters and brothers. With these Priorities and Goals, the faithful throughout the North Country will engage, in a focused manner, in building up this Church that we love.

As this process unfolds, I urge all parishioners to become actively engaged.  Please attend the Chrism Mass, read my soon-to-be published Pastoral Letter, learn all you can about this holy endeavor and resolve to participate in achieving the goals that have been set.  This is a new moment in the life of the Church.

If it ever existed, the Church of “pray, pay and obey” is no more.  No longer can we be merely consumers at Church.  No, we must live, celebrate and share our faith. 

I pray that every member of your family will embrace this moment in the life of the local Church.   Today, more than ever, each of us must gain a renewed commitment to set aside everything so we might respond wholeheartedly to Jesus’ invitation, “Follow Me.”

Thank you for your commitment and support.

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