Entrusting our diocesan planning to Our Lady
The month of May is a time when the church turns our attention to Our Blessed Mother. We begin the month by crowning statues of Mary and continue to honor her and seek her intercession in the days that follow.
There is so much we can learn from Mary’s “yes” to God that not only included her assent to becoming the Mother of God’s Son but continued throughout her life as she accompanied her son all the way to the cross and his glorious resurrection and ascension. She was also present with the apostles and disciples at Pentecost and was a model of faith and prayerful intercession in the early church until her assumption into heaven.
As we honor our Blessed Mother this month, I invite you to seek her intercession for the fruitfulness of our diocesan “Flourishing Families” planning process. At this point in the planning, discussions are taking place on the deanery/regional level. There are two lay representatives from each parish who are meeting with their priests to discuss how we can more effectively work together to enliven parish life and evangelize our neighbors. They are also finding ways of sharing their discussions with their fellow parishioners.
The deanery/regional discussions are aided by draft proposals for each deanery so that some possible ways to better work together can spur discussion. I want to emphasize that my desire as your bishop is to listen to your ideas and suggestions. My prayer is that we can have real discussions on how we can flourish as parishes and thus as a diocese. I truly want to have your input so that our planning can benefit from the collective wisdom of the people of the diocese.
I also know that change is sometimes fearful and certainly can be uncomfortable since it means we contemplate doing things differently and give up some things that we prefer in order to work for the common good. I am confident that the Holy Spirit will help deal with the challenges we face and will guide our discussions and help us please God in planning for our future as a diocese.
Please join me in seeking Our Lady’s assistance as we face the challenges of this planning process. Her example of faithfulness and her prayers can be a great help to us.
Blessed Mother, be with us as we seek to better follow your Son and share the good news of his victory over sin and death with those around us. Help us to build up the church in our day and lay a firm foundation for our children and grandchildren and all those who will come after us in the Diocese of Rapid City. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
+Bishop Peter Muhich