January 1, 2016
With this issue of our
Dakota Catholic Action, we usher in the New Year of 2016. I would like to not only wish each and every one of you a blessed and Happy New Year, but I want to thank you for your continued and generous support of our beloved Church with your daily and fervent prayers, all of your good works of mercy and your sacrifices, and for your continued financial support of all of the effective ministries of the Universal Church and of our diocese. Please know that all you do is most pleasing to God and He will never be outdone in His generosity to those who love Him.
We have just begun the great Jubilee Year of Mercy, which is a true gift to the entire world from Our Holy Father Francis. My daily prayer for all of us is that we truly and fully enter into this year of God’s bountiful mercy and that we allow Him to transform us and our daily lives so much so that we become His apostles of mercy to others. Every day as we hear the news, it becomes so clear that without Him and His mercy darkness advances, but with Him and His mercy light destroys the darkness of war, hatred, jealousy and division. Please keep and observe this Jubilee of Mercy; and when this year closes, may all of us continue to beg of Him for His mercy, and show mercy to others.
As we look to the month of January, one of the much-anticipated events is always Catholic Schools Week. This occurs toward the end of January and it is an opportunity for us to be grateful for our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who have sacrificed so much to provide Catholic schools for so many of us. Without their sacrifices of time, treasure and talent and without the wonderful religious sisters and priests and the dedicated lay men and women who devoted themselves entirely to the education of children and young people, we would be so much less.
In addition to our excellent Catholic schools, this week always gives us an opportunity to focus on the absolute necessity of a solid and complete religious education for every Catholic child, teenager and adult. To know our beautiful Catholic faith is to love it; to know the marvelous history of our Catholic Church makes all of us better and more active members of it, both in our parishes and in our diocese. While due to circumstances, some may not have the opportunity to attend a Catholic school; all have the opportunity to receive a solid Catholic religious education through our parishes. Our parish priests, and so many dedicated lay men and women who assist the priests, are to be commended to God for their goodness. Let us all see to it that our children come and participate in the classes and other planned events so that they increase in their wisdom and knowledge and remain close to Christ Jesus.
Finally, if you are inclined to make a resolution for this New Year, make one that you can keep and that will have a good and enduring effect. Be resolved to go to Mass one more time during each week besides Sunday, and go to confession once each month. You will experience God’s bountiful mercy in such a way that you will not want to stop.
Happy New Year!