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: What's wrong?What we think is the right road In his great sci-fi novel "A Canticle for Leibowitz," author Walter Miller Jr. has one of his characters ask in exasperation, "What is the fundamental irritant?" Why are things just wrong? What is at the heart...
Joseph Purello: The virtue of attention: 'To encounter another person in love'Modern technologies allow us to shift our attention quickly. We are confident that we can pay attention to multiple things and people at any given time and we value dearly our devices that allow us to stay so accessible, and so flexible to choose...
The Poor Clares: Reflections on the Year for Consecrated Life:The gift of communityOne of the essential elements of consecrated religious life as defined by the Church is communal life. As human beings, we are made for relationships. Our hearts are designed for communion, mutual love and acceptance. When one embraces a religious...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: True to selfWhat we think is the right road Polonius in "Hamlet" offers this counsel: "This above all: to thine own self be true." This line from Shakespeare still strikes a chord today – we are urged to do whatever we think is right or profitable or...
Fred Gallagher: Perpetual Adoration:The blessings of an hourOver 20 years ago a determined Catholic matron and native Charlottean wished to share her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament by starting a Perpetual Adoration Society in Charlotte and establishing the first Perpetual Adoration chapel in our diocese....
Robert D. Potter Jr.: Same-sex marriage: It's not in the Constitution – yetThe U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize and perform same-sex "marriages." The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War to protect the life, liberty and property of...
Deacon James H. Toner: What we know that ain't so: Stop judgingWhat we think is the right road
The Bible tells us to stop judging others, so why is the Church always saying no? It's as though everything we want to do is wrong, immoral or evil. Everything is negative! Isn't it time to be more affirmative,...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Synod survey questions didn't need to be so difficultThe Feb. 13 edition of the Catholic News Herald published an article regarding the process of information gathering by the Synod of Bishops on the Family, specifically the difficulty of the survey...
Abortion reversal kits give women a second chanceIt is a scary, cruel world nowadays. That anxiety can be multiplied tenfold when you are a pro-life emergency department health care provider, like me. The emergency department is filled with...
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...
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