Now that September is upon us, all of our Catholic schools
are back in session and I am delighted to tell you that our enrollment is up in virtually all of our excellent schools. I am most grateful to our good parents who have entrusted their children’s education to the Catholic Church, and to our most competent and dedicated teachers and administrators. However, what I am most pleased about is the increased and deepened Catholic identity of all of our schools.
Catholic identity begins in our homes, where parents are always the first and best teachers of their children in the ways of faith. Our schools exist to help our parents continue to educate their children in our beautiful Catholic faith and in those necessary subjects that will make our children morally good adults and citizens so that they will contribute to the common good of our Church, nation and society. The Catholic identity of our schools begins in the required and frequent classes of religion, but it also extends to how our teachers and administrators live their lives of faith in school and out of school. In effect, they provide with their lives “classes” in how to be a Catholic and a Christian for our children and their parents to see and learn from.
I thank all of you who support our Catholic schools with your daily prayers and the many sacrifices you have made and continue to make to ensure that they not only continue but improve and increase in their Catholic identity as places where it is obvious that faith, hope and charity are lived every day.
Our diocese continues to be blessed by Almighty God with vocations to the priesthood. As you know, six men were ordained to the sacred priesthood for the Diocese of Bismarck last June 13 and we cannot thank God enough for this! He has inspired three men to begin their studies for the priesthood and their priestly formation and again, He is telling all of us that He and His Church need priests. In your own daily prayers, please thank God for all of our seminarians and please do continue to pray to Him to send more men to His harvest which is so great.
THIRST 2013: Guaranteed to be spiritually invigorating
As you have been noticing in the last several issues of the Dakota Catholic Action,
our Thirst 2013 Eucharistic Conference is next month. If you have not yet registered for this wonderful spiritual event in our diocese, I ask you to please do so. Even if you are not able to attend the entire Conference, believe me, even coming for a portion of it will be a spiritually invigorating experience for you. Bring your family or bring a friend but do plan to come and participate.
Dedication to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts
Finally, I want to announce that on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Sunday, November 24, I will rededicate our diocese to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and dedicate our diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This will take place at the Cathedral
at the 11:30 a.m. Mass. I am asking all of our good priests to do the same for each of our parishes during that same weekend. This will be a fitting way for us to close the Year of Faith and begin our mission of the New Evangelization within the Church and to the larger community. This will be an opportunity for each of you to enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in your home. Great blessings will come to you!