An Invitation from Archbishop Vigneron
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, often repeats that the best thing we have in our lives is to know Jesus, and the best thing we can do in our lives is to share Him with others. I am asking all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit to focus, in a very particular way, on how we share Jesus in our lives. I want to put a phrase on your heart, something that we all can adopt as a sort of “rally cry” for our calling as Jesus’ disciples.
Our charge is to Unleash the Gospel. This is a phrase we are using in the Archdiocese to describe a great number of initiatives to encounter Jesus, grow as disciples and give witness to His love—but it is more than just a brand or slogan. When you see it, know that to Unleash the Gospel is our calling from Jesus, which we embrace personally, and together as a community.
We know the world is not as God wants it to be, and that the Church of Detroit has faced challenges in a rapidly changing society—challenges that impact our Church as an institution, but also that affect us deeply in our families and with our neighbors. Amid this, all of us should know that we have an unfathomable power that is capable of overcoming these challenges, of healing the wounds of our culture—we have the power of the Gospel. As disciples of Jesus, we live to share the Gospel. This is no ordinary news. It is extraordinary news. It is the Good News—the best news! It is how we answer Jesus’ call to make disciples. And it is how we follow our Holy Father’s encouragement to recognize what we have in knowing Jesus, and realizing the tremendous power in sharing Him.
We have prayed for a New Pentecost in this Archdiocese. And I know the Lord has heard our prayer. Many of you have experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit through new ways, such as Come, Encounter Christ!, programs like Alpha from a Catholic Perspective, and experiences associated with the Jubilee Year of Mercy. If you have not, please consider such ways to deepen your relationship with Jesus.
And finally, we are preparing for an historic moment, Synod 2016, a gathering of Catholics from throughout the Archdiocese that will help set a course for us to Unleash the Gospel with new energy and new creativity. The Synod will take place in November. It will involve selected members from our parishes, along with many of our priests, deacons and lay ministers. I ask for you to pray for a fruitful Synod. I also encourage you to be an active part of it through attending what we are calling Parish Dialogue Gatherings. You will learn more about these, and be invited to them, in the coming weeks and into the summer.
I am grateful for your faithfulness, and humbled to be your shepherd in this transformative time. At your parish, you will be hearing much more about how our local Catholic community can Unleash the Gospel, and about Synod 2016. You also can learn more at www.aod.org.
Unleash the Gospel! Join your fellow Catholics with fervor and urgency in our great commissioning. With you in this calling I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit