Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Teach, govern, sanctify

by Bishop Thomas Daly

(From the November 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

When I first came to the Diocese of Spokane, I was asked the normal questions of anyone new to the area. They ranged from “can you handle the cold?” (they evidently had never vacationed in San Francisco in the summer) to “what will your focus be as our new bishop?”

Regarding the weather: After four years in drought-stricken California, I am praying for a wet and snowy winter.

As to my focus: I look to the decree written by Blessed Pope Paul VI at the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago. Christus Dominus (“Christ the Lord”) addressed the Pastoral Office of Bishops. It is essentially the job description of diocesan bishops, whose primary role is to “teach, govern and sanctify.”

In Chapter 1 we read: “(Bishops) … should not only look after those who already follow the Prince of Pastors, but should also whole heartedly devote themselves to those who have strayed in any way … are ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and His saving mercy … In exercising their duty of teaching – which is conspicuous among the principal duties of bishops, they should announce the Gospel of Christ … calling them to a faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.…” Over the months ahead, I hope to offer further reflections on these directives and how all of us – the laity, Religious and clergy – can help build the Kingdom of God here in Eastern Washington.

As you know, Archbishop Cupich held a leadership summit in April of 2014. After consultation with 50 Catholic leaders who participated in this gathering, he issued Joy Made Complete: Diocesan Pastoral Plan, part of the “Know, Love, Serve” pastoral planning initiative. Four priorities were set, and the schedule for implementing them began last spring. Priority One: Faith Formation and Leadership Development was addressed in April.

Just last month, over 400 representatives from the parishes of our diocese gathered at the Convention Center to address the second priority: “community building – youth and young adults.” In my talk in a breakout session on Friday and again on Saturday, I spoke of KLS as a “direction” more than an exact path. I am grateful for the renewal of hope that this document provides as we move beyond the challenges of recent memory. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our humble openness to prayer and renewal, we can truly focus on personal holiness and promote works of evangelization.

Since my installation, I have been blessed to come to a greater knowledge and appreciation of our Catholic people as I visit the parishes and schools of the diocese. I have also had the privilege of ordaining two new men to the priesthood for service to our local church, meet with the families of those children receiving the sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation, and speak with the clergy and Religious who faithfully minister to God’s people in Eastern Washington. Each of these encounters has been an opportunity of grace and hope, and as I gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, please know you will be remembered in my prayers of gratitude.

God Bless,

Bishop Thomas A. Daly

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