My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week of National Vocation Awareness, I ask each of you to take some time to look at the new vocation posters that have been out in the parishes for just a few weeks now. Please notice the number of young men con-tinuing to respond to God’s Call. It is truly a blessing for our diocese yet at the same time, especially during what has been a very difficult time for the Church country wide and world-wide, we must continue to beg the Har-vest Master to send laborers to work in his vineyard here in Norwich, Connecticut.
Thank you to so many who have supported voca-tions to the priesthood, the permanent diaconate, conse-crated religious life, and married life. Congratulations to the young women and men who have entered into dis-cernment more actively with a religious order this past year. Congratulations to those who have entered into Holy Matrimony during the past year. Thank you to the men who have responded to God’s call to consider a vo-cation to the priesthood. Many people from our Faith Events Office, the Vocations Office, to the people and priests in our parishes, and the men and women who teach at seminaries where our men are discerning and being academically, pastorally, humanly, and spiritually formed, thank you for all your efforts.
To so many from our parishes and around the diocese who have supported our seminarians with prayer, attending our Monthly Holy Hour for Vocations, support-ing our Annual Seminarian Gift Card drive during Ad-vent, and our Annual Seminary Tuition collection each May. The writing and sending of postcards of support to the seminarians that always seem to arrive at the right time to inspire the men to persevere in seeking Gods will for them, thank you.
Our hearts must remain ever thankful for the many fine priests both retired and presently serving, who willingly said, “Here I am Lord”. Thank you also to the many consecrated religious sisters, brothers and priests who have served here in the diocese and continue to do so. Thank you for your “yes” to the Lord. Let each of us during this special week of awareness pray with thankful hearts for the countless blessings we have received be-cause of all the men and women who have stood up and responded to the Lord with; “Here I am Lord, I’ve come to do your will”. May we each re-commit ourselves to praying for all who serve the Lord in a particular voca-tion, and continue even more steadfastly to beg the Har-vest Master to send more Laborers to take care of the har-vest.
God love you and always remain in your hearts. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Michael R. Cote
Bishop of Norwich