Sept. 21, 2016
During the Year of Faith, in December 2012, the Diocese of Ogdensburg charted a course to bring clarity of vision and purpose to the Church of the North Country. I established a Leadership Team that engaged in thirteen months of fruitful, creative and open discussion of what “can be” and “should be” our vision for the Diocese in our changing world. I hosted several listening sessions throughout northern New York to assist us in discerning what the People of God desire in terms of priorities in ministry and service.
After much prayer and fruitful dialogue, this Leadership Team, comprised of lay women and men, deacons, consecrated religious, and priests, prepared a five-year vision with key priorities and established goals that I announced at our Chrism Mass on April 9, 2014.
Since that time, many of the faithful from across our expansive Diocese have worked diligently on several committees to meet the goals that were established to help us address our Diocesan Priorities. I am so humbled and grateful for the strong commitment and deep faith of our team members.
You may remember the beautiful Eucharist we celebrated at the Olympic Arena, presided over by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Vigano, concluding the Year of Faith in September 2013.
Again, this local Church, gathers in Lake Placid to celebrate our faith, to acknowledge the impressive accomplishments of our committees in meeting the established goals, and to send us out with renewed vigor and clearer vision as Christ-led, Christ-fed, Hope-filled disciples in mission.
We are so blessed to welcome to our North Country renown gifted individuals of strong faith who will provide us with inspiring messages to go forth from Lake Placid with hearts filled with new purpose and resolve.
Bishop Robert Barron, our key note speaker, will set the tone of our Vocation Summit: INSPIRE: Called to Love. The day will see Bishop Christopher Coyne, Mrs. Jennifer Fulwiler and Mr. George Weigel as our featured presenters. Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau-Hull, Quebec will be the guest homilist. Our young people throughout the Diocese will participate in the annual Youth Rally as part of the faith and fun-filled weekend experience.
Thirty-six years ago from this very location, Sportscaster Al Michaels asked the question: “Do you believe in miracles?” as the U.S. Olympic hockey team was about to defeat the heavily favored Russian squad.
That question reverberated from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts and beyond. The news of the Miracle on Ice brought a whole lot of incredulous smiles.
With the enthusiasm of a new found love, our encounter with Jesus brings a joy-filled beam to our faces and peace to our hearts. From the shores of Lake Champlain to the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence, from the Canadian border to the southern Adirondacks and beyond, we proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Miracle on earth.
This Family of Faith knows God’s goodness and mercy. We invite every person we encounter to join us in our common journey to the Father.
New resources and pastoral support from our diocesan offices will help us continue to focus on: Creating a Culture of Vocations, Strengthening Faith Formation in Family Life and Building Parishes with Living Stones. Clearly, these priorities are intimately related.
Every person is a vital contributor in this shared mission of building up our local Church.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the “Star of Evangelization,” inspire and guide all our efforts.
Thank you for embracing the joy of the journey.