Bishop Columns

Bishop Columns

 

May  2020 Four County Catholic

Hope Prevails Over Fear

“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” - Romans 12:12

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
 
As we continue forward during Eastertide we are reminded of the joy and peace that abounds in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, renewed in the risen Christ, our source of hope.
 
It has been nearly seven weeks since public celebrations of Mass were temporarily suspended in all churches of the Diocese. This is having a profound effect on our lives of faith, and even on the way that faith is practiced. This is, without question, among the most painful developments of these days for me as your Bishop, for your priests, as it is for all of you.
 
I look forward to the day when we can once again gather around the table of the Lord, reunited as a family of faith. In the meantime, may we find comfort and direction in the words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) These words are as relevant today, in our current health crisis, as they were to the first century followers of Jesus.
 
May 8th is the birthdate of Saint John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. I bring this to your attention because his dedication to the people of his parish is a fine example of what you can accomplish when allowing the love of God to consume you.
 
I want to take this moment to publicly thank my brother priests who, like their patron, are ministering to the needs of their parish families. During the COVID-19 crisis they have been continuing to hear confessions, anointing the sick, live streaming Masses and devotions, seeing to the spiritual and corporal needs of parishioners and keeping churches open so that, like Saint John Vianney, you can sit in silent devotion with our Lord reposed in the tabernacle.
 
Providing for the needs of the people in Eastern Connecticut has never been more truly important. I am grateful to the many ministries in the diocese who have found creative ways to continue serving the people of the diocese. Our ministries, as you will read in the following pages, tirelessly serve the people of Eastern Connecticut, no matter what their faith. The daily dedication of the staff and volunteers to their individual missions lifts the lives of so many.
 
Through this crisis, we are finding that family and community are very much alive, even in social isolation. Family life remains forever the building block of a healthy society and the secure path to our spiritual well-being as Christians.
 
As we now enter May, the month of Mary, let us contemplate the power of God’s mercy in our families lives, as we celebrate our devotion to her. Our Diocese and our Nation on May 1st renewed our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title as Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace.
 
Let us pray for the souls who have died and those who are suffering with COVID-19. We mourn their loss and pray fervently for the healthcare professionals who attend to them. The medical experts report that we appear to be nearing the end of this crisis as the number of cases are beginning to level off. May we safely return to our lives with the wisdom gained that hope does prevail over fear.
 
Finally, I pray that you may experience these final days of Eastertide with this renewed hope as you make your journey toward Pentecost. 
 
Sincerely yours in the healing power of Christ,

Michael R. Cote
Bishop of Norwich

 

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    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294