My Dear Parishioners,
In a little more than a week, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, will be here to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on our young people. Please join me in welcoming Bishop Fitzgerald to our church. Please pray for our young people making the sacrament of Confirmation. This will be the last time that we celebrate this sacrament, in this format, for another two years. You may have heard that Archbishop Chaput has asked parishes to move the sacrament back to either the 7th or 8th grade. Right now we celebrate it in the 6th grade. We are in the process now of finalizing when that will be, but it is safe to say that there will probably be no confirmation celebrated by a bishop here next year. More information will be made available when details are finalized.
Next Sunday, March 11th we will have the Archdiocesan collection for the Church in Latin America. Archbishop Chaput has asked that we publish the following letter.
God Bless You,
March 4, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean face many challenges when it comes to sharing their faith; yet the light always shines through and hope arises. For example, in rural Peru, like in many other countries, opportunities for the faithful to celebrate even the basic rituals of our Catholic faith are often few and far between. Frequently, children cannot receive the Sacraments of Initiation, and Mass cannot be held regularly. Without missionaries and catechists, the people living there cannot learn about, experience and share the beauty of our Catholic way of life.
Your support to the Collection for the Church in Latin America has helped the Siervas del Plan de Dios (Servants of the Plan of God) train lay people to become Catholic missionaries and catechists in parishes. The sisters have set up a missionary formation program as a step toward enlivening and sustaining the Catholic faith.
In northeastern Ecuador, in the Amazon jungle, hundreds of thousands of people live. Many of these people are Catholic and have a strong indigenous culture, and most speak only their native language, Quechua. The first missionaries arrived to this area many years ago and provided basic materials for evangelization. Through the Church in Latin America Collection, an updated devotional book was produced and adapted to the Quechua culture based on feedback provided by the indigenous people. Because of your support, it was possible for adolescents, adults, and elders living in the Ecuadorian jungle to deepen their faith and grow in love of Christ.
Our Archdiocese will take up this collection the weekend of March 10 and 11, 2018. Please be generous and take this opportunity to share your faith with the families of Latin America and the Caribbean. Your support will truly make a difference. Thank you and God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia