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‘Inflamed with heavenly desires’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

April 13, 2022

“…grant that by these paschal celebrations, we may be so inflamed with heavenly desires…”

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
As the priest prepares to bless the fire at the Easter Vigil, he prays that we might be “inflamed with heavenly desires.” For one hundred and fifty years, the faithful of the Diocese of Ogdensburg have been inflamed with the heavenly desire to follow Jesus. We remember with much gratitude those who came before us, sowing the seeds of faith and building up the Body of Christ.

Over the last century and a half, beautiful parish churches and schools have been erected through the sacrifice and generosity of so many. Parish families have celebrated the Sacraments throughout the broad expanse of our North Country. Since our founding in 1872, thousands of women and men, inflamed with heavenly desires, have come into the Church and celebrated the Easter sacraments. We welcome and congratulate those who are entering the Church this Easter. We are so blessed!

Every generation encounters unique challenges in their faith journeys. Ours is no exception. While the demographics of the North Country have changed significantly, the Church continues to proclaim the joy of the Gospel. We accept our crosses with hope inflamed with heavenly desires because we are an Easter people. Jesus is risen and that has made all the difference in the world.

I hope that this Lenten Season has provided you with the opportunity to think of things of heaven. Sadly, for many today the focus is on worldly desires. Inevitably, such a focus feeds hatred, greed, and disrespect for our neighbor. Crime, violence, war, and terror haunt humankind. This Easter we want to renew our commitment to the Risen Christ. We are eager to embrace the mission He gave the Church as we begin another chapter in the story of the Church of Ogdensburg.

Easter blessings to you and your loved ones!

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg


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