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Diocese of Gaylord Profiled by Catholic Home Missions
The Diocese of Gaylord is one of 83 dioceses throughout the country that receives funding from Catholic Home Missions and it is featured in the spring issue of Neighbors, their quarterly Newsletter. The article is titled, Embracing the New Evangelization, and shares some of the blessings and challenges faced by the faithful and leadership in our diocese as we strive to live and share the Catholic faith in our area and beyond.
Introducing the newsletter, the Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, Bishop of Great FallsBillings and Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, writes:
Imagine experiencing your faith between extremeswhen the weather is warm, your church is bursting with parishioners, but when the lake-effect snow lands foot after foot, you can hear echoes between those scattered in the pews. Its a challenge to sustain vibrant parish life when the Catholic population has dropped by nearly a third in ten years. Its a challenge to build community when parish participation ebbs and flows with the farming season. Our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Gaylord, and those who minister to them, know the situation only too well. What they also know is how to come together to face the challenges and plan for a strong future.
Bishop Warfel knows the diocese from his own experience. As a seminarian, he would often come to the Shrine at Indian River where he came to know Father Tom Dominiak. While many years have since passed, he still recalls with fondness the great kindness that had been shown to him by Father Dominiak and the Faithful of the parish and Diocese.
The Catholic Home Missions Appeal primarily supports home mission dioceses -- those dioceses in the United States that need assistance to offer their people the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship and service. It also gives grants to other dioceses in the U.S. for particular projects, and to organizations and religious communities engaged in missionary work. The Subcommittee primarily focuses on (1) evangelization activities, (2) religious education, (3) ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and laypeople; (4) support of poor parishes across the country.
Shortly after surveying his new Diocese, Bishop Bernard Hebda was convinced that the Diocese of Gaylord bore all the characteristics of a mission diocese and he successfully applied for a formal granting of that status. As a result, just in the past two years, the Diocese of Gaylord has been awarded $135,000 from Catholic Home Missions to assist in activities and efforts which would be extremely difficult if not impossible to carry out without their help, such as the Womens Conference, Migrant Ministry, Catechetical Leadership Programs, Seminary Formation and others.
In most dioceses throughout the country, parishes will take up a special collection at the end of April to fund the grants given by Catholic Home Missions to help their Catholic brothers and sisters in this country like us Strengthen the Church at Home. In the Diocese of Gaylord, a portion of the gifts each year to our diocesan Catholic Services Appeal is forwarded to support the work of Catholic Home Missions. It is one more example of how we are One Church, praying and supporting one another as we share the message of the Gospel.
Click here to learn more about Catholic Home Missions and to read the spring Neighbors newsletter.
The newsletter may also be downloaded below.