Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus reminds the disciples that discipleship is about service. None of us is greater than another. We are called brothers and sisters, and are instructed to be attentive to the needs of those around us. Jesus didn’t shy away from the poor, the sick, or the outcast. He embraced them with love and compassion. The scriptures attest to Jesus’ service to his brothers and sisters, even to those that would persecute him. Do we have the same strength?

In writing this letter, I recall a few occasions this past week where I extended a helping hand to another. How easy it is to pat myself on the back and say “Well done,” but more important is reflecting upon those times where I didn’t take the opportunity to show compassion to another and understanding why. This can be hard to acknowledge. We cannot recreate missed opportunities, but we can learn from opportunities lost. A similar situation could come our way in the future. Join me in reflecting on a missed opportunity with these two questions: 1) Did fear or anxiety hold me back? And 2) What could I have done?

Both parishes are participating in the diocesan Heart of the Shephard campaign to raise funds for the much needed remodeling of the seminaries, financial support for newly ordained priests, and to support the priest retirement fund. Each case for this diocesan capital campaign has its unique dimensions. I would like to comment on the first two, the priest retirement fund I believe is self-evident.

The funds being raised for the seminary buildings are to update the private living and common areas that the seminarians use to live, study, pray, and experience fraternity. I lived on the Saint Mary side of the Center for Pastoral Leadership for over 6 years, and even then I remember challenges with electric, heat, showers and privacy. This campaign fully upgrades the living space of seminarians with new electric, individual heating and cooling controls, and private bathrooms (some shared). The common areas will also be enhanced with updated technology and furnishings to promote fraternity and relaxation.

As with many graduate students, newly ordained priests have a similar financial burden after completing their education. The funds generated by this campaign with provide assistance to those priests, upon request, for those that need it.

Bishop Malesic has asked the people of the Diocese of Cleveland to consider participation in the Heart of the Shepard campaign to promote education, health, fraternity, and the spirituality of our seminarians and to express gratitude to our priests that have served faithfully for many years. Thank you for your consideration.

Christ’s Peace!
Fr. Workman