Brothers and Sisters:

“Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edge sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Heb 4:12???)

This scripture passage from the Book of Hebrews reminds me, as a priest, about the reality of seminary discernment and the life of the call to serve as a priest. The presence of God in the lives of our seminarians and priests is an essential part of providing them with the tools, support, and encouragement they need to live their baptismal vocation. The education, personal and spiritual formation, and fraternity that a seminarian receives during formation helps him better reflect the priesthood of Jesus Christ. And after years of blessings and challenges during his term of service, a priest then retires with a deep respect for the people he served and served him.

I’m happy to announce that we are going to participate in the diocesan capital campaign “The Heart of the Shepherd.” This campaign reminds us of the importance of seminary formation for future priests, financial support for the newly ordained, and care for retired priests. It is an opportunity for reflection and to gather information that I hope we all take to heart.

The format of this campaign at St. Clement and St. James may be different than that of other parish communities. Due to the potential for a separate capital campaign at each parish, I have chosen to present the “Heart of the Shepherd” campaign similar to the annual Catholic Charities appeal. There will be a mailing, bulletin and pulpit announcements, and a commitment weekend. My hope is that you reflect on the material, learn about the needs that inspired this campaign, and prayerfully consider your participation. Because I have chosen this format, no funds will be coming to the parish directly and there are no obligations to the parish. We will be acknowledged through our great response to the needs of our local church.

This capital campaign focuses on three main areas. 1) Renovate our seminaries – the heart of priestly formation and holistic wellness. 2) Care for the retired priests of our diocese. 3) Support newly ordained clergy. Please read and thoughtfully consider the forthcoming information to understand why these are important needs identified by the bishop for which he is asking financial support. In coming newsletters I will share some personal details to help articulate the importance of this campaign.

In-pew commitment weekends will be different for each parish. St. Clement will be October 23-24 and St. James October 30-31. You will also receive by mail a Heart of the Shepherd commitment form that can be returned by mail. This is also available upon request from the parish office. I pray that each of you will reflect on this request and participate in this special campaign.

May the generosity of our parishes be abundantly fruitful and truly demonstrate our gratitude to those across our diocese who have chosen a life of service to us and to the Lord!

Christ’s Peace.
Fr. Workman