I wish to invite all pastors to attend, and ask your parish leaders to participate in, our annual Diocesan Pastoral Congress on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Skaggs Catholic Center. This event is an important venue for all our parish ministers throughout the diocese to gather and avail themselves of the great opportunity for continuing education as members of our faith community.
Faith formation is one of the five priorities I have highlighted for the people of God in our Diocese of Salt Lake City as part of our mission and vision as a local Church. Learning and knowing the teaching of Christ is an essential part of our life as followers of Jesus and members of the Catholic Church. Our personal encounter with Christ and understanding what we believe help us grow in our faith and in our relationship with God and with one another, as well as make us more eager to carry out our mission as missionary disciples of Christ.
The theme for this year’s gathering is “A Springtime of the New Evangelization,” which captures the essential meaning of our identity and the vision of our Diocese of Salt Lake City. Our endeavor is rooted in our mission as Christian believers to build the Kingdom of God. His grace urges us to proclaim and share the Good News of our salvation to other people. Our Church calls us to the New Evangelization to bring about a spiritual rebirth in our faith and a renewal in the life of all believers so that together we can build a vibrant Church community.
St. John Paul II, emphasizing the important characteristics of the New Evangelization, said that it must be new in its expressions, methods and in enthusiasm. Amidst the cultural changes in our society, it is necessary to keep ourselves updated so that our mission remains relevant with the passing of time.
Our Diocesan Pastoral Congress answers these challenges. There are four keynote presentations: by Mr. Juan Carlos Moreno; by two friars from the Southern Dominican Province, Fr. Jorge L. Presmanes, OP and Fr. Wayne A. Cavalier, OP; and my address based on my pastoral letter, “A Springtime of the New Evangelization” in English at 9 a.m. and Spanish at 11:30 a.m.
Interspersed with these addresses are breakout sessions facilitated by other clergy and invited lay speakers, who will share their insights, experiences and expertise about parish ministries such as vocations, family life, stewardship, disabilities and liturgy as well as other excellent topics on conflict management, collaborative ministry and healing ministries.
Participants will also have the chance to listen and study as well as share with one another good practices and valuable resources, hoping that such dialogue will help us gain more knowledge and tools to make our parish ministries more effective and fruitful.
The highlight this year will be a panel discussion and photography exhibit at lunchtime featuring the 100-year history of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Lastly, the V Encuentro will figure prominently in talks during the day, capped with a commissioning rite for all parish representatives at the 5 p.m. Congress Mass.
Registration is available online at www.dioslc.org, or call the Office of Religious Education at 801-328-8641 ext. 326.
It is our hope that, with God’s grace, we can realize our dream of bringing about a spiritual rebirth in our faith and a renewal in the life of all believers in Christ. Please mark the date on your calendar and register early to attend our annual Diocesan Pastoral Congress. Let us work together to learn more about how to become witnesses of God’s love and missionary disciples so that together we can build a vibrant church community in our Diocese of Salt Lake City.
I am looking to forward seeing you, and wish all of you God’s special blessing!
+ The Most Rev. Oscar A. Solis
Bishop of Salt Lake City
THe 2017 Diocese of Salt Lake City Pastoral Congress will be Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Skaggs Catholic Center, 300 East 11800 South, Draper. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $45 per person. For information or to register, visit https://www.dioslc.org/events/registration/step1?event=2421
“A Springtime of the New Evangelization”
Pope Francis reminds us that the Church exists to evangelize. By virtue of our baptism, we share in the mission of Christ to share the Gospel with all people as His missionary disciples. This address centers on our basic identity and baptismal calling as followers of Jesus, hoping to arouse renewed interest, enthusiasm and joy in professing, living and sharing our faith. It sets the vision and mission of the local Church, the Diocese of Salt Lake City, to bring about faith renewal and spiritual rebirth in our parish communities, and challenges the people of God to build a vibrant community of faith and God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace in world.