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Seek the Lord by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr for October

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Most of us learned as children that the word “Catholic” means “universal.” We even refer sometimes to the “universal Church” to remind us that we are part of more than just the “local Church,” which is our Archdiocese.

The Church is universal because it encompasses the entire earth. Every spot on the globe is part of the Church’s mission. But the Church is also universal in the sense that she has a mission to spread the Good News everywhere. That mission comes from Jesus Himself, who said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).

This month we celebrate World Mission Sunday, an opportunity to express our solidarity with the Church’s 1,150 mission dioceses. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has 32 missionaries serving overseas and 28 in this country. I am very grateful to these priests, women religious, and lay people. You will read inspiring stories about them in this issue of “The Catholic Telegraph,” along with a letter from me, a financial report from our Mission Office, and a list of 38 Archdiocesan parishes engaged in twinning relationships with parishes around the world.

As members of the universal Church, we are called to pray for and financially support these missionary efforts. St. Therese of Lisieux, a cloistered Carmelite nun whose feast day is Oct. 1, is one of the patron saints of the missions because of her prayers and letters supporting missionaries.

At the same time, as members of the Body of Christ, we are all called to be missionary disciples. “Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization” (EN 70), wrote Blessed (soon to be Saint) Paul VI.

Our mission fields are our workplaces, our social settings, and – as Blessed Paul VI recognized – our families. To spread the Good News of our faith at a time when the despicable acts of some cardinals, bishops, and priests have stigmatized the Church is no small task. It is understandable if you
do not feel prepared. Fortunately, there are many ways to grow in faith and know-ledge:

• Continue reading “The Catholic Telegraph” or inspiration and information. Nicholas Hardesty’s “Seize the Day” column, for example, is designed to equip you with the tools to be an everyday
evangelist.

• Listen to Sacred Heart Catholic Radio at 740 AM, 910 AM, 89.5 FM, or online. In addition to his parish duties, I have assigned Fr. Rob Jack to weekday ministry at the station. His “Driving Home the Faith” program at 4 to 6 p.m. each weekday is built around news, the local church, and personal faith.

• Attend a Catholic men’s or women’s conference.

• Take classes in the faith at the Athenaeum of Ohio, which offers discounted tuition to lay people.

• Take advantage of scripture or faith enrichment programs offered at your parish during Advent and Lent.

• Attend RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation) sessions in your parish. Although these are intended for catechumens and candidates for full initiation into the Catholic Church, many parishes also welcome parishioners seeking ongoing formation.

• Share your journey of faith with others on an ongoing basis by forming or joining a small faith group.

Most of all, do not overlook the obvious: prayer. Jesus promised that the Father will send the Holy Spirit to those who ask (cf Lk 11:13).

So, please pray for the missions, but pray also to the Holy Spirit for the wisdom, courage, and strength to fulfill your own calling as a missionary disciple.

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