The first complete business week after Labor Day has been a full one. That’s not surprising of course; we are back to normal activity after a quieter summer period.
Thus far this week, I have met with the Board of Trustees of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, our Diocesan Presbyteral Council and the Executive committee of that body. They were all regular business meetings. It was good to be back at it; it was a particular pleasure to be with the gifted and generous people who form those groups.
Today, Wednesday, I joined a company of about 150 catechetical leaders, youth ministers and campus ministers at the Holiday Inn in Waterloo for their fall convening. I was invited by Maribeth Mancini, who heads our Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, to speak to the group about how the Scriptures have shaped my life.
I was happy to accept the invitation for several reasons. Among them: 1) I very much enjoy the company of that assembly and am always inspired by their energy and passion for what they do; and 2) it is important for me to be in touch with them whenever I can. I appreciate more the good they are doing, the difficulties they face and the impact of their work — most especially on our youth and young adults.
This year, I had an extra and strong motive for accepting the invitation — the anticipated beginning of the second season of Spirit Alive! our diocesan-wide effort at spiritual renewal. This year’s theme is “Nurturing Our Relationship with Jesus Through the Word”.
I tried to share some of my own experience of Scripture with our friends, and to convey a sense of how the circumstances of my life have led me to read and pray the Scriptures and how prayer with the Scriptures has shed light on my life.
This group makes it easy to work with them. They are attentive and responsive. They are willing to raise questions and share their insights and experience with others. Because of that willingness, dialog becomes a much richer experience both for them and for me. As is always the case, I was not only encouraged by their presence, but learned a great deal as well. It will be a part of my prayer this evening to thank God that we have such ministers to help our people, especially the young, to grow in knowledge and love of the Lord.
By Thursday and Friday, the emphasis will have shifted from meetings to prayer celebrations. On Thursday, we will have observed the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York, Washington and the plane over Pennsylvania. That celebration is to gather firefighters from the greater Rochester area at Sacred Heart Cathedral for a 7 p.m. Eucharistic liturgy.
The main event on Friday also will be at Sacred Heart Cathedral. It will be a prayer service during which we will dedicate the newly constructed Halloran-All Saints Organ. Three professors of organ from the Eastman School of Music will play this magnificent new instrument on that occasion, which is open to the public as well.
Wrapping up the activities of the week, will be the opportunity to speak at a breakfast of a group called Magnificat. This is a ministry to Catholic women which offers support in their effort to lead generous, loving lives. The theme Magnificat asked me to address is how I have experienced God’s enduring love during the course of my life.
As I thank the Lord for the good graces of the week so far, I also anticipate with joy the experiences that will fill the remainder of the week.
I hope that all goes well for you.
Peace to all.