Here’s your chance to watch again Bishop Earl Boyea’s powerful presentation to this week’s Realign Resources for Mission Regional Meeting.
“Jesus’ command to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord remains. Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, mission! I think that was seven times. This must be our goal as Catholics, Christians. This is what Jesus wants of us. That is the only reason we are seeking to realign our resources, to further the mission of Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Boyea in a video address, Sunday, August 29.
The evening saw hundreds of lay faithful from across the Diocese of Lansing gather at the four diocesan regional high schools in Ann Arbor, Flint, Jackson and Lansing. They watched an hour long presentation outlining the Realign Resources for Mission committee’s latest drafts for parish groupings across the diocese before taking part in a lively Q&A with committee members.
“Now, we need really to push our evangelization efforts, to make a dent in the culture in which we live. We need to look beyond our parish and seeking greater cooperation with other local parishes,” said Bishop Boyea.
“This will not be easy, because change is never easy. A great part of the difficulty is that we don’t have all the answers ahead of time. Some of those answers will only come with more experience and with more prayer.”
* To watch the hour-long presentation of the latest draft plans from the Realign Resources for Mission Committee click here:
* To take the survey in response to the presentation, click here:
Meanwhile, here is the text of Bishop Boyea’s video address in full:
To me the most important part of that phrase, “Realignment of Resources for Mission,” is the last word, Mission. It was nine years ago, in 2012, that the Pastoral Letter, “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord,” was published. My hopes for a re-evangelizing movement in our diocese may have been a bit naïve. It seemed that if we built up the Household of the Faith, that is, those who regularly attend Church, they we would easily be poised to contact our relatives and friends who had wandered from the fold to invite them back to Church, to bring back the Lost Sheep. It was probably an even bigger dream to hope that we might change the culture around us, to affect the Court of the Gentiles. That is what we tried to do with our three assemblies. By all the measures available, these three gatherings were great successes, especially as we followed our Lord in the Eucharist down Michigan Avenue to the Breslin Center.
However, even apart from the COVID Pandemic, our Church attendance has continued to decline throughout all these years; the numbers of those being baptized or confirmed or married has declined. Funerals have kept up. While those were great and blessed events for our beloved dead, they were not signs of a growing faith community. Yet, Jesus’ command to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord remains. Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, (I think that was seven times); this must be our goal as Catholics, Christians. This is what Jesus wants of us.
That is the only reason we are seeking to realign our resources, to further the mission of Jesus Christ. The committee and sub-committees have been working a long time to assess the nature of our physical and human resources in this diocese. We are not in some state of crisis in terms of our ability to maintain what we are doing. It is not a crisis that is driving us. But that is not mission oriented. We are instead seeking better ways to work together, to focus outward. If it is not a crisis, it is still critical that we do what Jesus asks us to do. That requires a significant change. If we keep on doing just what we have been doing, we will get the same results.
I often tell my brother bishops that this diocese is the best one in the country. They do roll their eyes, but I believe this. I have been so impressed by your generous spirit and heart. Financially, we are in good shape, both at the diocesan level and at the parish level. The many exceptional lay workers in our parishes, our schools, and our diocese are a treasure beyond price. Our Catholic Charities are doing great work. Our educational system is so encouraging, though I would really love to see more scholarship monies to help our kids. Our seminarians are most impressive. And my brother priests and deacons are a joy to work with and for. And you, the laity of this diocese are a blessing beyond compare. Thank you for your prayers and volunteering and support.
Now, we need really to push our evangelization efforts, to make a dent in the culture in which we live. We need to look beyond our parish and seeking greater cooperation with other local parishes. This will not be easy, because change is never easy. A great part of the difficulty is that we don’t have all the answers ahead of time. Some of those answers will only come with more experience and with more prayer. In addition, to keep our focus on evangelizing in this process and not to get lost in the mechanics will require deep prayer and God’s grace. Once the RRM Plan is announced this fall we will have an Implementation Committee to help us move forward. Please pray for God’s blessing upon all of our efforts and offer your own hand to us to help us bring more clearly into our world the presence of God’s kingdom.
St. John Paul challenged us in the Year 2000 to do what Jesus told the apostles to do, to go out into the deep and let down our nets, to be real fishers of men. Can we do this? Is Jesus worth it for us? Do we want to be saints? I hope and pray that the answers are all yes; or, at least, that I want to do this and please give me a helping hand to be that saint. My deepest thanks to the RRM Committee and to all of you, my sisters and brothers in this best of all dioceses.