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Bishop Paul Sirba: June brings great celebrations and chances to grow in faith

You are cordially invited to attend the ordination of Deacons Jeremy Bock, Beau Braun, and Steven Langenbrunner to the priesthood on Friday, June 9, at 4 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth. If you have never been to an ordination before, please come! I still encounter many lifelong Catholics who have never been to an ordination. It is an extraordinary liturgical experience. Consider this an open invitation to attend.

The evening before the ordination, June 8, 2017, we will be hosting a holy hour for the ordinandi at the Cathedral from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., to which you are also invited.

Bishop Paul Sirba
Bishop Paul Sirba
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By sacred ordination a sacrament is conferred on priests through which, “by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, they are signed with a special character and are so configured to Christ the Priest that they have the power to act in the person of Christ, the Head” (Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Ministry and Life of priests, no. 2).

Thank you for your ongoing prayers for vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, religious life, and holy marriages in our diocese. Please pray for all the priests who are moving to a new assignment and those who are retiring from active ministry as well. We thank them for their service to us and ask God to bless them and the parishioners who, likewise, are experiencing transition at this time.

On the day of Pentecost, when the 50 days of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s promised sending of the Paraclete is manifested. The Holy Spirit is given and communicated as a divine person. The feast of Pentecost reveals the mystery of the Trinity. We believe in one God in three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the ‘last days,’ the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 731-732).

As Catholics, we make the transition from the Easter season to what we liturgically describe as Ordinary Time. This season, which lasts until the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, is really anything but ordinary. The quotation from the Catechism which reflects on the Holy Spirit’s activity in the Church during the last days is most certainly not humdrum or boring.

Our daily life in our world should remind us of the passing nature of things. The tumult we experience shouldn’t scare or paralyze us as Catholics but rather open our hearts and minds to the eternal truths of our great faith and to action. Ordinary Time is an opportunity for us to grow in our faith, hope, and charity and to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Liturgically, the Church grounds us in a cycle of spiritual life with the great feasts of the Most Holy Trinity on June 11, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on June 18, and the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 23, on which day the Holy Father asks for a world day for the sanctification of priests.

We are invited by God, the Holy Spirit, to trust in the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Son, and to receive the merciful love of God the Father, as we begin this new month of June and Ordinary Time. We are loved into action by our mother, the Church, to enter the last days with hope and joyful expectation of the Lord’s return in glory.

Bishop Paul Sirba is ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth.