Dear brothers and sisters,
A very happy and blessed new year to you all!
As we begin 2014, I want you to think about this: What are you doing, or what could you be doing to build a stronger, closer friendship with Jesus?
I am so happy about the recent appointment of our diocesan priest, Fr. John Doerfler, to become the bishop of Marquette. I was especially moved by the story he shared with the faithful of Marquette during his recent news conference, and share that here.
“Early in my childhood I came to know and love Jesus,” shared Bishop-designate Doerfler. “For this special gift I am grateful to my parents, Henry and Germaine, for passing their faith on to me. My personal encounter with Jesus Christ led me to be active in youth ministry when I was in high school because I wanted my high school friends to know Jesus too. This growing desire drew me to the priesthood, and what a joy it is to spend my life bringing people to Jesus!”
See the wonderful places having a loving, lifelong relationship with Jesus can take you!
He speaks very clearly about how Jesus has been an important part of his life, and others who have helped him along the way. As you come to know Jesus more closely, look to your parents and other adults in your life for guidance and read about how others, like the saints, have become friends with him.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, continues to show us daily what it means to be alive in our faith. There is a three-letter word Fr. Doerfler spoke of and I share with you now: J-O-Y. And JOY stands for Jesus, Others and You. If you remember to put things in this order, you’ll be moving in the right direction towards that special friendship with Jesus and get along better with others, too.
Much JOY to you in this New Year! May the peace of Christ live in you and those you love!