June 13, 2008


Summer is the season for service

“Take care, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to show forth the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the priests and deacons and all who serve in His name.”

—St. Ignatius of Antioch

June 28 will be a day long remembered in central and southern Indiana.

The first class of permanent deacons will be ordained to serve the people of God in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

We rejoice in the ministry of service that these men and their families will carry out in collaboration with our archbishop, with our priests and religious, and with lay women and men in every region of this local Church.

The Holy Spirit is truly at work in this archdiocese—calling individuals, families and parish communities to prayer, to lifelong formation and evangelization and to missionary work here at home and throughout the world. May God bless our deacons abundantly as they exercise their unique and distinctive ministry of Word and sacrament in our Church.

The first week in July, 15 priests (and a Franciscan sister) begin new assignments in pastoral ministry throughout the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Their quiet transitions from one assignment to another deserve special notice.

In faithful obedience to their archbishop (and religious superior), these servants of God have agreed to go where they are being sent—perhaps eagerly, perhaps reluctantly, but always with some degree of anxiety and uncertainty.

No two parishes are exactly alike. And no one knows for sure how a new pastor or parish life coordinator will be received in a new situation.

Accepting a new assignment is always a leap of faith for the pastor/parish life coordinator and for the parish community. We thank these generous servants, in advance, for their willingness to go where they have been sent and to serve God’s people come what may. May God bless them abundantly in their pastoral ministry.

Sometime this summer, God willing, Archbishop Buechlein hopes to return to a full schedule after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Our prayers are with the archbishop as he concludes his treatment and continues his recovery.

We pray that he regains fully his strength and his energy. We applaud his determination to carry on in spite of his illness and its many burdens. May God bless him abundantly for his service to this archdiocese and to the universal Church.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has a long and distinguished history of dedicated service by lay people, religious and clergy who have given themselves wholeheartedly, without counting the cost, to our Church’s prayer and work.

With this rich tradition, and the blessings it imparts to all, comes an enormous responsibility.

To ensure that this tradition of service continues, in response to the growing needs of Church and society, we must all pray fervently that the Lord will continue to call women and men to his service. And we must work to actively develop and maintain communities of faith that can nurture and sustain vocations to ordained ministry, consecrated life, marriage and ecclesial lay ministry.

The holy Eucharist is the sign of our unity as an archdiocese and as the Church universal.

As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us, it is also the sacrament of charity and the sign of our commitment to serve one another in all humility as Jesus did.

May God bless our archbishop, our priests and deacons, and all who serve the family of God in central and southern Indiana this summer and through all the seasons of service the Lord gives us until he comes again in glory.

—Daniel Conway

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