Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In 1Peter 4:10, we hear Peter say, “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” As your new Bishop, I have come to learn that people across the Diocese of Springfield have a long history of giving generously to those in need. I am happy to be among such generous and caring people.
Today, I am writing about this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. The Appeal was initiated in 1959 to provide for the ever-increasing educational, human, pastoral and spiritual needs of people in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. Each year, the Appeal enables our Church to implement and provide critical services in a comprehensive framework in order to carry out the work of Jesus Christ. It would not be possible to carry out His work without your assistance.
We are all aware of the increasing difficulties facing many of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in need. For many, it is becoming more difficult to stay warm, to stay nourished, to live in a decent place, and not be alone. Through your support of the Appeal, there will be fewer people who will be cold, who will be hungry, and more who will be able to sleep in a safe place and not face life alone.
“Serve With Love”, is the theme for this year’s Appeal. While it is a simple theme, it says much about what we do as Church, and who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis has challenged us to take on the task of service to others and to do so with a joyful heart. The Appeal provides us with an opportunity to share our faith, and the many gifts which God has bestowed upon us with our brothers and sisters in need. Without your support, many critical services would not be possible. It is because of your generosity that the Diocese has been able to assist elderly persons in need, families in crisis, people who are homeless, youth and young adults, our parishes and our Catholic schools.
I invite to join with me, your pastor, and your brothers and sisters in Christ, to serve as an example of Christian Stewardship by making a pledge of financial support to the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal. Your generous pledge over the next eight months will assist our Church in carrying out the work begun by Jesus Christ.
Please review the enclosed materials which outline the critical services which you help to make possible. Please, help me with your abundant generosity to aid our brothers and sisters by “Serving with Love.”
God bless you and all you hold dear.
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski
Bishop of Springfield