Saturday, April 18, 2015

rss-feed-usepinterest-button Twitter logo blue

 

Viewpoints

Bishop Peter Jugis: Our diocese has tremendous enthusiasm for the faith

jugisThe 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."

Bishop Peter Jugis leads the Diocese of Charlotte. Read more about the ad limina trip and relive it through the blog.  

  • Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: In vitro Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: In vitro
    "What you think is the right road may lead to death" (Prv 14:12) What we think is the right road About one in five couples in the United States experiences infertility. This is often a cause of great suffering among those couples, for many...
  • Dr. Kamila Valenta: Middle East policy must include protecting Christians Dr. Kamila Valenta: Middle East policy must include protecting Christians
    Over the past several months we have seen reports of the horrific crimes of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS (also known as ISIL – the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant). This extremist rebel group that now controls large parts...
  • Sister Constance Veit: Whose life is it anyway? Sister Constance Veit: Whose life is it anyway?
    In college I wrote a medical ethics paper on a play entitled "Whose Life Is It Anyway"? That old paper came to mind recently when I learned that the campaign for physician assisted suicide has been gaining momentum. The renewed push to legalize...
  • Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Gud Edjakashun Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Gud Edjakashun
    What we think is the right road About five years ago, Mark Bauerlein challenged readers by contending that we must learn not to trust anyone under the age of 30. What he called "the dumbest generation" has achieved "viewer literacy," Bauerlein...
  • Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: 'Redefining' marriage? Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: 'Redefining' marriage?
    In the current debate over gay "marriage," people sometimes ask: Who should define marriage? Democrats or Republicans in Congress? The Supreme Court? Should it be put to a referendum, allowing the majority to choose a definition? We can identify...
  • Robert D. Potter Jr.: What's wrong with homosexual marriage? Robert D. Potter Jr.: What's wrong with homosexual marriage?
    The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider whether a state is required to recognize homosexual "marriage" under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In the flood of secular media messages and accounts, many Catholics may be confused and even...
  • Anne Tinsdale: Offer it up Anne Tinsdale: Offer it up
    "Offer it up": the great mantra of our beloved Catholic school nuns! What did they know that we can learn about sacrifice and suffering? On a purely human level the value and necessity of sacrifice and suffering is difficult to imagine, but...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20

LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: