Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Summer in the beautiful state of Michigan brings much-needed time to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate, in a very tangible way, God’s creation, and to reflect on the work God is doing in our lives and where he is leading.
This year has been a year like no other — a time of great challenge but also a time of great grace. For some, this season has brought loss and uncertainty. At the same time, it has provided an opportunity to connect in creative and meaningful ways with those we love and with those in need. Our lives and the lives of our parish communities have been affected in ways we did not anticipate or imagine. But amid new challenges, we continue to hear God’s voice speaking to our hearts and telling us that all will be well.
“Rise and be not afraid” (Mt 17:7). These are the words Jesus spoke to his closest companions, Peter, James, and John, at a moment when fear had entered their hearts. I believe these are also words for us to hear today. Jesus, who knows us and loves us, speaks these words of comfort and of action. He tells us not to be afraid because he is with us at all times. He also tells us to rise.
“We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes.” This is the motto that Father Gabriel Richard gave to our city during a particularly challenging time in its history. Our city and our region have experienced their share of setbacks and challenges, but the people of southeast Michigan are resilient. When we are knocked down, we know how to get up, how to rebuild, and how to rise again. We have done so in the past. We will do so again.
Our mission of sharing Christ’s saving Word must continue. In these difficult days we are called to bring to our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces the kind of hope that does not disappoint. We have been sent by Christ to be his light in the world. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “What the world needs is God’s love; it needs to encounter Christ and to believe in him.”
We need your support to continue our mission. It is through your kindness and generosity that we are able to meet the needs of individuals and families in our communities, parishes, and schools. Hundreds of thousands of lives are impacted every year by the programs and ministries sponsored by the Catholic Services Appeal. We must continue to bring Christ to those lives.
I ask you to prayerfully consider a gift this year. You have supported and made possible our mission in the past and for that I’m grateful. Given the economic challenges that our nation and region are facing, many members of the faithful won’t be able to support the work of the Church in ways they have in the past. Would you prayerfully consider your support and possibly increase it on behalf of those who are not able to do so this year?
“Rise, let us be on our way” (Mk 14:42). Jesus also shares these words with the same three disciples, Peter, James, and John. He reminds them, as he reminds us today, that we must continue our journey and face the challenges ahead of us. We have nothing to fear because Jesus walks with us.
May God in his love keep you and your families safe during these times. Entrusting you to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, Detroit’s own priest Blessed Solanus Casey, and our beloved patroness St. Anne, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit