Bishop Ricken

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

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Bishop’s Appeal: Inspiring disciples

By Bishop David Ricken | | February 1, 2017

When I was 7 years old, most of my friends knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. For me, this moment came at Mass. My inspiration was Fr. Norbert Temaat, a newly ordained priest. Although at the time, I had no idea for my own future. I remember one particular day, as he walked down the stairs to begin distributing Communion, I realized he was distributing the Eucharist and radiated the love and joy of Christ to all. I thought, “This is what I should do with my life. I should give my life to Jesus and devote myself to leading people to the Kingdom of God.” That day, the Holy Spirit worked through Fr. Temaat to inspire me to become a priest.

In our diocese, we are blessed to have disciples across northeast Wisconsin who are inspired by the words and acts of Jesus Christ. It is through the Bishop’s Appeal that our diocesan ministries and services encourage others to understand and become inspired by the way Jesus lived his life. Keeping this in mind, our theme for the Appeal this year is “Inspiring Disciples.”

Jesus calls us all to be disciples, but many people are looking for some guidance in this area. Through our diocesan ministries and your support of the Appeal, we provide this guidance to tens of thousands of people. We are Inspiring Disciples through these ministries.

When you make a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal, you help inspire new disciples who bring the light of Christ to people throughout northeastern Wisconsin. The funds raised through the Bishop’s Appeal stay right here to support the ministries and needs of our diocese.

Each year our Catholic school teachers and religious educators find creative ways to bring the love of Jesus to our young people. It is you who help train religious educators in parishes and schools.

A gift to the Bishop’s Appeal helps form and train care ministers to bring Communion to those who are homebound and sick. For many of our homebound friends, these visits provide an opportunity to share stories and pray with a fellow church member. It is your gift to the Bishop’s Appeal that inspires our children and people in need of God’s love.

This year in the Appeal, we will explore how a local deputy sheriff listens to inmates’ stories and encourages them to find guidance through the Gospel.  In addition to his chaplin services, Kyle, as a youth minister, also shares the word of Christ with young people at St. Raphael Parish in Oshkosh. After completing the Emmaus program, Kyle now inspires young people to become children of God, to journey with Christ, and to experience faith and trust. This is discipleship in action.

The diocese is also blessed with the presence of Sr. Laura, who inspires discipleship at the college level with her dedication, kindness and welcoming heart. Students are introduced to Jesus Christ’s message.  They are invited to be people of welcome and joy as they worship together, take part in social events, and volunteer in the community. It is through the Appeal, that we are able to find new ways to inspire others to consider the Catholic faith and deliver helpful assistance throughout the diocese.

If you would like to learn more about how the Bishop’s Appeal is inspiring disciples, I would encourage you to watch the Appeal video at All of this happens because of your support of the Bishop’s Appeal.

I encourage you to open your heart to the Lord and ask yourself where you can be inspired in your life. Your gift makes a significant difference in the lives of many people each year through the Appeal.

Just as the Holy Spirit, through Fr. Temaat, inspired me to consider priesthood, I hope you, too, will be inspired to join me in helping those who are less fortunate through the Bishop’s Appeal. Each and every day, I see the good that happens because of your generosity. Your gifts are a great blessing to the people in the Diocese of Green Bay.

On behalf of the men, women and children who are so grateful for your care and support, thank you! Thank you for prayerfully considering your gift to the 2017 Bishop’s Appeal, and for inspiring disciples!

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