"Go and make disciples of all nations..." Matthew 28.19
September 23, 2006 Memorial of St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina
My Dear Young People, Grace and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you! Feeling a bit like St. Paul, who stayed in contact with believers in the early church communities by sending letters since he could not always be present in person, I share with you the exuberant joy you have at your commissioning celebration this weekend at Mt. Zion Pastoral Center, even though I cannot be with you personally. Your theme this year centers on the power of God in our world through the presence of His Word, Jesus Christ, as recorded in St. Paul's letter to Timothy: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teach ...put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 4: I, 2. 5). Proclaiming the word, the Good News of our Lord, requires persistence - in season and out of season. Most important, however, it is necessary to be an authentic witness to the power of Christ already present and active in your life. Fervent discipleship leads to mission. We cannot remain silent for the gift of Jesus Christ entrusted to us, i.e., what we have experienced in our lives. In the twists and turns of being faithful disciples, I urge you to remain always in the presence of Christ, who has the power to transform each of us, Indeed, we cannot invite others to "come and see" unless we ourselves have "put on Christ" and proclaim persuasively by lives lived "in abundance", the "way" to the truth who is Jesus Christ, our Incarnate Lord. Invoking the blessings of God upon you as you begin your important ministry of Youth to Youth for this 2006~2007 season, and assuring you of my ardent and fervent prayers for you through the intercession of St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina, I am Yours always in Jesus, Our Savior! +Carl F. Mengeling Bishop of Lansing "He must increase, I must decrease” -Jn 3:30
I am back home now after having gone from Toronto down to Mexico to be present at the extraordinarily beautiful canonization of Saint Juan Diego and then off to California for the Supreme Council Meeting of the Knights of Columbus.
It has been on my mind that I had to write and thank you and the young people who were with you for the extraordinary blessing of Youth to Youth during my catechetical session on July 26th.
The youngsters were really wonderful and all of you working together for the Lord make a splendid combination of talent and goodness and grace.
I am sure that some of those young people have vocations to the priesthood and religious life and I would like to invite them all to come to Washington where our need is so great!
I know you took some pictures and I would love to have a copy so that I could have a beautiful souvenir of a very grace-filled time thanks to all of you.
Please be sure of my prayers and my hope that the Lord will use those great young people in many wonderful ways to serve His Church. I did mention to a couple of them about vocations and I hope they will keep it in the back of their minds.
What a wonderful work you do for the Lord! With every good wish and affection to you and to all your associates, I am
Devotedly yours in Christ,
[Theodore Card. McCarrick]
Archbishop of Washington
Director, Youth to Youth Catholic Evangelization
Dear Youth to Youth,
I enjoyed our time together and greatly appreciated the support of your group and the amount of preparation which had obviously gone before.
As an old bishop (hopefully with a young heart!) is was very encouraging to meet so many enthusiastic and committed young Catholics. The Church is experiencing difficult and testing times; but I believe that we are also being purified and renewed for a fresh outburst of evangelization under the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Please assure all the members of your group of a place in my prayers and I ask you to hold me up with your prayers so that I may be the kind of shepherd that the good and faithful people of my diocese deserve.
With my blessing, my prayers and best wishes,
[Bishop Re Ian Murray]
Bishop of the Argyll & the Isles, Scotland
Other treasured letters from Bishop Mengeling:
September 8, 2004:
My Dear Young People,
I would like very much to be with you as you are commissioned following your training in Youth to Youth. My Schedule does not permit it but my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Your theme for the 2004-2005 year is "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, righteousness that is by faith from first to last." Romans 1:16. What a powerful statement of faith! I am proud of you and share your joy in the gospel on this day.
I congratulate you and urge you to proclaim in work and deed, most especially by the witness of you lives, that Jesus is Lord! He lives and in Him is our salvation and that of the world. What a privilege and joy to be called to discipleship and evangelization. Let the power of Jesus resurrection fill you, His Holy Spirit. You need not have fear for His wisdom and strength will be with you as you proclaim His Word.
God bless you and your ministry.
September 21, 2003:
Dear Members of Youth to Youth,
My schedule does not allow me to be present with you today on this happy occasion. You are, however, in my thoughts and prayers. I extend to you my congratulations and sincere appreciation for the commitment which you are making on behalf of the Gospel.
You are truly "putting out into the deep" (Duc in Altum). You do so in faith that the Lord Jesus whom you proclaim will be with you. Like Him you will speak the truth that sets men free. Like Him you will sow seeds that can transform the lives of those who hear you and see the witness of your own lives. Like Him you will experience the joy of those who receive the good news and will know the opposition or indifference of those who do not. Trust that what you do will bear lasting fruit. You may not be the ones to reap it but you have sown the seeds and God will do the watering.
Jesus says to you today, "Fear not, I am with you... The Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak." What a privilege you have, to share in the work of Jesus in His Church. I pray for God's blessing on you and this ministry you undertake with confidence and joy.
September 20, 2001:
My Dear Young Men and Women,
As you are commissioned for the work of Evangelization in Youth to Youth, I extend my congratulations and offer you my encouragement.
Your enthusiasms and joy are contagious and your commitment to the Lord Jesus is inspiring. You have heard the call of Jesus, echoed through Pope John Paul II, to be evangelists in the new millennium and have responded with eagerness. As young Catholic filled with zeal for your faith you bear witness to Him who is our Way, Truth and Life.
I thank God for you dedicated disciples of the Lord and ask Him to bless you in your evangelization outreach."
"The Church has so much to talk about with youth, and youth have so much to share with the Church."
Youth to Youth Catholic Evangelization PO Box 471 • Montrose, MI 48457 810.639.7175