Bearing fruit for the Kingdom

Most Rev. Michael F. Olson

North Texas Catholic

6/19/2017

Our diocese was blessed with the ordination of two new priests on May 20, Fr. John Martin and Fr. Stephen Hauck. In the Gospel read at the ordination Mass, Jesus reminds us that He is the vine, we are the branches, and that with Him we “will bear much fruit” (John 15:5) and thus glorify the Father.

The Church discerned with these two men that they were chosen by God from among his people to be priests. Christ distinctly called them to follow Him and serve Him not because of their talents or worthiness, but because of God’s love for them and for the Church.

Just as God called them out of love, they responded to God’s invitation with love. God’s call is not just oriented toward the priesthood, the diaconate, or the religious life. God’s primary call is delivered to us via Baptism into the life of grace and participation as a member of his Church.

God calls each and every one of us, and in a way that call is summed up by St. John as this: “Remain in my love,” “Bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Perhaps you’ve also heard this summed up in another way: God made us to know, to love, to serve Him, and to be happy with Him forever. That is the purpose of our lives and our vocation. Whatever our station in life, all of us are called to discipleship, to holiness, to sainthood. This call to minister is intimately bound by our identity as children of God and reinforced by our baptismal character.   

Currently, many Hispanic Catholics in our diocese are discerning how they can more fully live out their vocation to be joyful missionaries to the whole Church. These are Catholic men and women of different language groups and from different age groups. They are part of our diocese and, as Hispanic Catholics, they are part of a population that composes 55 percent of our diocesan population. Inspired by Jesus’ call to love one another, these men and women hope to evangelize our culture and society in such important areas as marriage and family life, priestly and religious vocations, social justice, education, sacramental formation, catechesis, and ministry to the sick and isolated.
 

They are part of a major, four-year effort called the Fifth National Encuentro. An initiative of the U.S. bishops, the V Encuentro, as it’s often called, is a synod-like process of evangelization and catechetical formation, consultation, missionary activity, and identification of ministerial “best practices” that will help the Church to better recognize and utilize the gifts that Hispanics bring to the table for the entire Church, both local and universal.

An estimated million pastoral leaders and 5,000 parishes nationwide are expected to participate in the process which culminates with a national Encuentro to be hosted by our diocese at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine next year. Currently, 37 parishes in our diocese are involved in the effort. 

The V Encuentro is already underway in our diocese. Several parishes have begun their weekly or biweekly group gatherings to reflect, to meditate, and to discern. These meetings will lead up to a final day-long parish Encuentro where participants will gather and organize their notes, feedback, and thoughts in order to propose practical ideas that will be presented at our diocesan Encuentro which will occur on Nov. 5, 2017 at the Arlington Convention Center.

The two men who were ordained opened themselves to the call of God to journey the road to joyous priesthood. The V Encuentro also is a call of God for Hispanic men and women of our diocese to put their talents to work for the Kingdom and the glory of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit moves each and every one of our beloved Hispanic brothers and sisters to become a part of Encuentro through the Catholic Church of North Texas. Please join me in these prayers for the renewal of the spiritual life of our diocese. I invite each of you to end indecision by becoming a part of V Encuentro.

 

Our diocese was blessed with the ordination of two new priests on May 20, Fr. John Martin and Fr. Stephen Hauck. In the Gospel read at the ordination Mass, Jesus reminds us that He is the vine, we are the branches, and that with Him we “will bear much fruit” (John 15:5) and thus glorify the Father.

Published (until 6/19/2030)
Back