Bishop Ricken

Bishop's Corner

The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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A very fruitful spring

By Bishop David Ricken | June 29, 2016

It is with a grateful heart that I write today to express joy-filled gratitude to the Lord and to all of you who have worked very hard to prepare so many for the sacraments.

There were many who received the sacrament of confirmation. The Emmaus Program produced seven graduates and 10 graduated from the Discipulos de Cristo Program.

Ordination into the diaconate was received by nine; five of which are permanent and four as transitional. Three young men were ordained to the priesthood; one for the Norbertines and two for the Diocese of Green Bay. And many young people graduated from our Catholic high schools and colleges. We have so much for which to be grateful!

Next year will bring a multiple of ordinations to the priesthood, increasing the number of priests available to serve in our parishes. All of this is evidence of the Holy Spirit pouring out his spirit of generosity upon the people of God!

While there are so many positive signs, there are also signs of concern. The data regarding the numbers reported of baptisms, first holy Communions and confirmations are in decline, as are the numbers for attendance at Sunday Mass and participation in the life of the parish.

All of this bodes well with the grave need for all of us to engage fully as Disciples on the Way! Our faithful efforts at prayer in the home and Sunday Mass attendance mark the beginning of our journey in phase I of these first two years (2014-2016).

As we begin phase II (2016-2018) of the Disciples on the Way journey, which will involve formation for the priests, pastoral leaders and diocesan staff (Curia), I ask for your prayers as we strive for a deep and thorough immersion in the Joy of the Gospel, a love to follow Jesus, and a real and active participation in the life of the parish; especially Sunday worship and a dynamic discipleship inviting others to join us in this journey of faith and life.

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