The following is a very important installment for our preparations to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of our Diocese in the year 2020. This installment will explain how the celebration of our diocesan anniversary is more, much more, than a few diocesan events scheduled for 2020.
1. The first note is that the 150th Anniversary not only looks at our past history as a diocese, but also where we are in the present and our vision for the future.
2. The second note is “unpacking” the theme of this 150th Anniversary: “So That They All May Be One.” (John 17:21) Our Bishop has given wonderful direction to us in his 2017 Pastoral Letter “So That They All My Be One.” From this Pastoral Letter has come the preparations and goals of the 150th Anniversary celebrations. It is also the vision statement for the diocese in the Strategic Plan Summary (2019-2021).
During the anniversary year you will receive articles in the St. Augustine Catholic, as well as reflections and homily helps on this subject of our Catholic unity. The scope of our Catholic unity can be pictured in this way:
3. During this Anniversary we will also celebrate our Catholic unity in diversity. What we mean is a Catholic understanding of our unity in diversity. This should not be confused with any secular claims about diversity. The Catechism teaches us:
From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church’s members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life…Thegreat richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity.Catechism of the Catholic Church, pp.814
4. During the Anniversary year of 2020 this Catholic unity in diversity calls us to understand that the Catholic Church is multicultural or what is sometimes referred to as having cultural diversity. The church is made up of many cultures: ethnic, racial, generational, etc.
We may reflect upon the history of our State which has been challenged to integrate and respect various cultures moving into Florida. The Catholic Church often leads the way for respect and appreciation of different cultures in our midst. This is still the challenge today and for our future and thus ministerial competencies for a multicultural church will be highlighted.
5. There will also be a focus on stewardship: one Body [the Church], One Spirit, many gifts. Sacrificial giving of Catholics built the Diocese of St. Augustine. Such giving is being experienced today and will be needed for our future.
6. There is a call for renewed commitment to the outreach of our diocese and its parishes and institutions to serving others in justice, especially those most in need.
7. Finally, we single out our youth and seminarians for special attention for the role they will play in the future of our diocese.
This then is what is planned and hoped for the 150th Anniversary of our diocese in the year 2020. Diocesan Directors and volunteers of many ministries will be taking up the work of sharing ideas and resources in 2020.Print