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March 11March 11
We are still in the midst of the Easter season, and as people of faith, we continue commemorating Christ’s victory over sin and death and celebrate his resurrection.
It is a time to remember the risen Christ is among us, and he continues to nurture our lives of faith through prayer, Scripture and the sacraments.
But the ongoing, unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia (now in its third month), recent senseless, racially motivated killings in Buffalo, N.Y., and
a shaky economic situation across the U.S. and other parts of the world leave many wondering when the evil and uncertainty will end. And these newsworthy items only offer the tip of the iceberg.
Whether it be newspapers, radio, television, the Internet or modern social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, we are provided up-to-the-minute news on the world stage—for better or worse.
We all know people going through trials, be they family, friends, co-workers—or ourselves—and brothers and sisters in Christ thousands of miles away facing heart-wrenching challenges as well.
We must understand none of us are immune from the tribulations and crises that so many face.
How can we respond?
It is a time, we believe, faith must continue to be at the heart of our witness.
We are approaching Pentecost, the Christian feast commemorating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, which marked the start of the Church’s mission on Earth. It is also referred to as the birthday of the Church. This year’s feast will be celebrated on June 5, and it is a time for us to ask the Spirit to again fill our lives as missionary disciples of Christ.
During the celebration of Pentecost last year, Pope Francis encouraged people of faith to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, which he defined as a comforter and advocate. He also asked them to put God first in their lives, which is what our faith calls us to do each day.
“Holy Spirit, Paraclete Spirit, comfort our hearts. Make us missionaries of your comfort, paracletes of your mercy before the world,” the pope said. “Our Advocate, sweet counsellor of the soul, make us witnesses of the ‘today’ of God, prophets of unity for the Church and humanity, and Apostles grounded in your grace, which creates and renews all things. Amen.”
As we pray for our brothers and sisters in need, we would do well to live our lives that way each day.
The Church in central and southern Indiana will be blessed at 10 a.m. on June 4 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis when Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will ordain transitional Deacons Michael Clawson and Matthew Perronie as archdiocesan priests.
Both men’s faith journeys reveal how the Holy Spirit has worked through them in forming their vocations. We encourage you to read Deacon Clawson’s story, which begins on
page 1 in this week’s issue of The Criterion. Deacon Perronie’s story was featured in the May 13 issue and can also be found at cutt.ly/Perronie.
As people of faith, we thank Deacons Clawson and Perronie for answering God’s call to the priesthood and offer special prayers as they begin their ministry.
We also exhort parishes and families to continue praying for and actively encouraging vocations.
More priests continue to retire and, as we know from the Scriptures, “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few” (Lk 10:2).
May our prayers and actions for vocations continue to bear fruit.