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."
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Holy warWhat we think is the right road
If ever there were an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms – it surely is "holy war." War is always horrible, always a great evil, always morally unjustifiable. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes...
Batrice Adcock: Marriage should be free, total, faithful and fruitfulIn a sacramental marriage, spouses are called to model their lives and their union not only on the original experience of Adam and Eve before the fall, but more so on the union of Christ and the Church. At a wedding, when a father presents...
The Poor Clares: Reflections on the Year for Consecrated Life: Self-giving love: The gift of chastityReligious men and women, in their radical following of Christ, embrace the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. All the faithful are called to imitate the Lord Jesus by living out these virtues in their daily lives,...
Matthew Hoefling: Religious liberty under assault in our nation's capitalDon't blink or you will miss yet another assault on religious liberty in America, this time in the name of "sexual health," "reproductive rights" and "gender identity" – all according to two innocuously-titled proposed pieces of legislation...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: Being pastoralWhat we think is the right road What we must prize, beyond all else, are the virtues of tolerance, open-mindedness and tenderheartedness – all of which may be subsumed under the heading of "being pastoral." We are called to love people, meaning...
W.S. "Bill" Melton Jr.: There's nothing I love more than to share the faithAs a Southern writer and humorist who writes a weekly column that appears in several secular newspapers located within the Diocese of Charlotte, I often let people know I'm a Roman Catholic. I'm a convert to the faith from United Methodism,...
Denise Bossert: Welcome people back to the Church by your loveIt is disheartening when people walk away from the Church. Sometimes, when we try to talk, they run at us like some kid on the opposite team in a game of Red Rover. They want to break through our line and pull somebody else from the Church....
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Tired rhetoric of race only creates division, not unityIn response to the Jan. 16 commentary "Race, bias and fear of 'the other,'" we were both compelled to write a response. Read original commentary here. As...
Many do not know about St. Gianna Beretta MolloOn July 20, 2014, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that Pope St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Mollo have been chosen as the patron saints of the World Meeting of Families which will...
Home School Fine Arts Festival had outstanding quality, jubilant spiritIt was a pleasure to read the Sept. 12 article about the success of the Home School Fine Arts Festival. My husband and I attended the closing theatrical performance as guests, unaffiliated in...
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. Patrick Earl at St. Peter 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