Diocese of Norwich
Office of the Bishop
Norwich, Connecticut 06360
October 27, 2020
(To be read at all Masses or reprinted in the parish bulletin on the weekend of October 31-November 1, 2020.)
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
A blessed All Saints day to you and your families. This solemnity on the Church’s calendar is a day to honor all the saints, known and unknown. Today also begins National Vocation Awareness Week, a fitting reminder of our need for saints in every vocation. To quote Pope Francis, “To be saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone.”
As baptized Christians, we are all called to be saints. The Church supports us in our journey towards sainthood, no matter our individual vocation, by the Gospel message, and by the Sacraments. We find direction in the words of Jesus and strength in the Sacraments that He instituted.
God’s people need priests. It is through a priest that God’s mercy is extended to us in the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick and the Holy Eucharist.
We need men of compassion with a sincere love for Christ and a willingness to serve selflessly by answering God’s call to the priesthood. It is a challenging and rewarding life filled with much joy.
These men are helped to hear the call by the encouragement of many. Through the vocation of marriage, good, strong, faith-filled parents work together to help nurture and guide their families, supporting their children in discerning their individual vocations. Awareness of marriage , holy orders and consecrated life will help young people to find their path on their journey of faith.
We all play a role in this important work. In a recent study of the 2020 ordination class, commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in addition to their family members, 89% of brand-new priests said they were encouraged to consider seminary by their parish priest, a friend, or another parishioner. Your prayers and encouragement are needed.
May our heavenly Father continue to strengthen our families and our Church by calling more of His children to serve as Priests and Consecrated Men and Women for the future! You all remain in my prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop of Norwich