Bishop Peter Jugis: Our diocese has tremendous enthusiasm for the faith
The ad limina visit which I recently completed is an ancient tradition in the Church, in which the diocesan bishop goes to Rome every five years or so to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and to meet with the Holy Father and the offices of the Roman Curia to report on the state of his diocese.
There is a spiritual component to the visit – to pray at the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. In that sense, there is the idea of a pilgrimage associated with the ad limina visit. In every pilgrimage, one temporarily leaves behind the familiar places of his home and work, to journey to a holy place to spend some time in prayer. In the case of the ad limina visit, the bishop leaves his diocese and journeys to Rome and to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, to draw inspiration and courage from the faithful witness of these two pillars of the Church, each of whom shed his blood for Christ.
Besides the spiritual component to the visit, there is also a pastoral component – to meet with the Holy Father and his top advisors, the cardinals and archbishops in the Roman Curia. The visit gives the diocesan bishop an opportunity to learn firsthand from them about the pastoral challenges facing the universal Church. It also gives the Holy Father and the Roman Curia an opportunity to learn firsthand from the diocesan bishop about the pastoral issues that face him in his part of the Lord's vineyard. Thus, the ministry of the Holy Father to the universal Church is strengthened by this sharing of information from the diocesan bishop, and the ministry of the diocesan bishop is also strengthened by the sharing of information from the Holy Father and his advisors. This exchange of information among the pastors of the Church serves to strengthen the unity of the Church.
In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul gives us an example of an early ad limina visit. After preaching the Gospel for several years following his conversion, St. Paul went to Jerusalem to confer with St. Peter for 15 days to learn more about Jesus (Gal 1:18). Then after 14 years, St. Paul again journeyed to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus to present to the leaders of the Jerusalem Church the Gospel that he was preaching to the Gentiles, to make sure that it was in accord with the truth (Gal 2: 1-2). From the time of the apostles, the pastors of the Church have known the value of maintaining the bond of communion among themselves, to preserve the catholicity and unity of the Church, which is Jesus' gift to the Church.
I was happy to write in my ad limina report that in the Diocese of Charlotte there is tremendous enthusiasm for the faith. The faithful of the diocese are eager to grow in their relationship with Christ, to increase their knowledge of the faith, and to put their faith into practice. The attitude of the faithful is very positive and upbeat, and there is a strong sense of mission throughout the diocese.
In addition to this enthusiasm for the faith, the Catholic Church locally is also experiencing amazing growth. Since my ordination as bishop in 2003, I have been privileged to dedicate or rededicate 17 new churches. In addition, eight parishes have built new parish activity centers. During this period, five new parishes have been canonically erected. Ministries have expanded as we seek to bring the truth of Christ and the love of Christ to more of our brothers and sisters.
The ad limina visit has been a tremendous blessing. The visit has served to strengthen the bonds of our ecclesial communion with the Chair of Peter, "which presides over the whole assembly of charity."
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right to a good reputationUnder Church law, no one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses, nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy. This obligation arises from natural law. Calumny, denunciation,...
Father Noah Carter: Love, mercy, justice: Communion for the divorced and remarriedIn every age, the Church deals with issues and pastoral situations so murky that a solution to a member's situation may seem impossible. In the modern age, very few Catholics understand the importance of the Church's precepts. These precepts...
Barbara Case Speers: The look of loveI may be carbon dating myself, but some of you seniors may also remember the song "The Look of Love," written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This 1967 hit tune was sung by English pop singer Dusty Springfield. One day while I was thinking...
Deacon James H. Toner : What we know that ain't so: Governor, guardian, guideWhat we think is the right road How shall I live? Whose advice shall I heed? Who are my heroes? There are many competing voices out there, and they all want me (or my time and money). But the coolest guides are the most publicized ones, for...
April Parker: SurrenderSurrender. The word seems to be a common theme during the Easter season. To the strong, this word may evoke thoughts of weakness. To the weak, it may be the dread of further humiliation. But to Christians, surrender is grace. The Old and New...
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right to chooseAll the Christian faithful have the right to be free from any kind of coercion in choosing a state of life (Canon 219). The principle is that everyone has the right not to be subjected to pressure in making a choice about their state in life...
Fred Berretta: Rely upon Mary, the mother of God, in striving for the Christian lifeMay is especially reserved for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and honoring her is not just a tradition befitting more pious ages. It is something God intended for us from the beginning. Her role is prefigured in Genesis 3:15, hidden in...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Imitating the virtues of the Blessed MotherIn my work as a Catholic mother, nurse and birth and postpartum doula, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on Mary, our Blessed Mother. Not only is she a supreme model of motherhood,...
Women volunteers are vital to prison ministryI am a prison ministry volunteer at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley. It was of great interest that I read the prison ministry article in the March 4 edition of Catholic News...
Contraception: A rejection of God's gift of love and communion"Creating the human race in His own image..., God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion" (Catechism of the Catholic...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy