Driving in the left hand lane
We have the chance to move forward and help church prepare for future
By Bishop David Zubik
In one of my previous "Bridging the Gap" columns I shared with you, my readers, that one of my hobbies is an interest in cars. This hobby began when I was a young boy, even before I started school. I knew the makes and models of most cars. I collected miniature replicas of cars well through the seventh grade. I loved it when my Dad took me to the annual "Auto Show" held in Pittsburgh.
Whenever the new models arrived each fall, I enjoyed the commercials about them on television and especially appreciated the chance to go to the dealers on the "unveiling day" to catch a glimpse first hand.
Whenever we as a family took our weekly Sunday drive, I would become so excited when I saw a new model on the highways.
To this day my interest in cars still remains. I keep up on what is happening in the automotive industry by reading for relaxation several different magazines on automobiles. And while I am not able to be as precise about makes, models and years now as I used to be able to do as a youngster, I have a general informed idea about the world of cars.
Enjoys driving experience
In addition, and since the age of 17 when I began driving, I have found being behind the wheel to be most often a relaxing experience. When on my way to an event in one of our parishes or driving to the local supermarket, I enjoy driving.
Being prone to "pet peeves" as all of us are, I must admit that one of the small and minor irritations of driving for me happens when drivers in the left hand lane do not use the lane
for that which it is intended. The intended legal purpose of the left hand lane is to "pass" the driver on the right hand lane within the prescribed speed limit. Drivers in the "left hand lane" should have the opportunity to "move forward" with quicker determination than a driver in the right hand lane.
Several weeks ago, we began two important initiatives.
On Ash Wednesday, as Catholics we began the holy season of Lent. Marked with the cross on our forehead, we publicly expressed to all who saw us that day that we want to bear the cross of Christ in our hearts.
Meeting challenge of Lent
Lent provides us the opportunity to do this as the ritual of Ash Wednesday challenges us: "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." Each and all of our intended disciplines of Lent are meant to help us "move forward," not only toward Easter but to becoming better and holier people - the intended outpouring of the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus.
The weekend before Ash Wednesday we as faithful in the Diocese of Green Bay began the annual Bishop's Appeal.
This annual appeal for support provides us as a local church the opportunity to "move forward." As your bishop, I am most grateful for the generosity of so many faithful in our local church, grateful for the generosity which continues to grow each year.
Last year, for example, we surpassed the 2003 results by nearly $300,000 more. The year before that we surpassed the 2002 appeal by $250,000.
Continue to move forward
In 2005, it is my hope that we can continue to move the appeal forward so that we as a church can "move forward" by:
providing the wherewithal for collaborative assistance to our Catholic school teachers and catechists in our religious education programs through the Department of Total Catholic Education;
providing even better opportunities for evangelization;
giving much needed assistance to the important works of Catholic Charities;
increasing the attention we need to give to the faith formation of young adults on our college campuses;
helping migrant workers as they settle in our area;
furthering the message of our church through the communication efforts of The Compass;
supporting much needed support programs like the Care Ministry and the Disabilities Ministry;
lending a helping hand so that everything that we do in the name of our diocese can show us to be "Faces of Faith."
Over the course of the last several weeks, you have received in the mail, seen on TV, heard on the radio, noted in your parish bulletins information about how important is the Bishop's Appeal. For the attention and the response you are giving to the "Bishop's Appeal" I am most grateful.
Driving in the left lane
If you allow me for a moment once again to use the image of "Driving in the Left Hand Lane," I believe that the Bishop's Appeal gives us the chance now and well into the future to help our church "move forward" in being the hands, the heart and the face of Christ to so many who look to us to be precisely that.
Thanks to you for being a "Face of Faith."
Thanks to you for joining me in the leadership of this church by "Driving in the Left Hand Lane" toward God's kingdom, "driving" with a quicker determination by "turning away from sin and being faithful to the Gospel."
Thanks for making the dream of Jesus become ever more real that His church, our church, this church of Green Bay, can do His work - to "move forward" His gospel.