There are many reasons to thank God Print
Bishop Morlino's Column
Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 -- 12:00 AM
This column is the bishop’s communication with the faithful of the Diocese of Madison. Any wider circulation reaches beyond the intention of the bishop.

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is at the heart of what we do and who we are as a faithful Catholic people.

And so, while there is a great deal to be terribly concerned about in our world, in our nation, and in our own part of the country, there is also a great deal for which we each can offer our thanks to God — which is the origin and the reason for the holiday that is upon us.

On a personal level, I have a great deal for which to be thankful.

In terms of my friends and those with whom I am blessed to serve, I am just that — terribly blessed. Thanks be to God, it’s been another year of good health, and for that too, I cannot fail to be thankful.

Expressing gratitude

I’d like, however, to take just a few lines to express my tremendous gratitude for all that you are to me, and for all that I’ve been able to experience in the past year as your bishop.

You surely know that there is little in my ministry that is dearer to me than our seminarians, and nothing is more joyous than when I have the opportunity to call them my sons in a new and real way by ordaining them to share in my ministry to all of you.

This year I was able to ordain six outstanding men to the priesthood, and if that were all I did this year, I would have considered myself a very, very blessed bishop.

Surpassing goals

However, the ordinations this year were imbued with a real sense of unity, both among the great priests we already have, and among all the faithful, as we were in the midst of the “Priests For Our Future Capital Campaign” for which so many were working so hard.

The campaign, as you have surely seen (and due to your tremendous generosity), was an overwhelming success.

Our priests, parish staff members, and parishioners all “lifted together,” and for an initial goal of a $30 million endowment for priestly formation and recruitment we’ve had nearly $44 million pledged!

For that, I am certainly extremely grateful!

Additionally, our parishes continued in their generosity and for the first time since we started our Annual Catholic Appeal, we have surpassed our goal in collections.

There will be more forthcoming on this, but the really good news is that we’ll be able to take those overages and, with grants, help some of our parishes, schools, and religious education programs that are in particular need.

Renewed sense of faith

On top of all that, the Lord has blessed our diocese with a renewed sense of faith — countless Confirmations, beautiful liturgies, the visit of the major relics of St. Maria Goretti, and even a visit to our nation from the Holy Father himself!

After reflecting on all of these blessings, I cannot help but feel a bit spoiled and humbled at being the shepherd of this flock. This truly has been a terrific year for me personally as a bishop. I am thankful to God and thankful to all of you for that.

As we mark the beginning of a new liturgical year — a Year of Mercy at that — next Sunday with the beginning of Advent, let us look back on the past year and give thanks this week for the blessings, big or small, and begin to prepare our hearts for the coming of Our Lord at Christmas!

Thank you for reading this. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Praised be Jesus Christ!