Most people do not think about leaving a legacy. Perhaps it is because we think legacies are for people with a lot of money or cultural clout, for people who are famous or who have done significant things in their lives. “How can someone as simple and small like me leave any type of legacy?” we think.
But Jesus did not fit into any of those categories. He was a humble, dependent, faithful and compassionate man, seeking to do the Father’s will, sharing the Father’s love, rejected by many people, willing to suffer and die for humankind, yet the legacy he left has continued for more than two thousand years.
Materially, Jesus left nothing. He left no widow, and no children. He gave away practically everything he had during the course of his life and was stripped of everything left when he died. Yet, Jesus left a greater inheritance than anyone in human history. He passed it on to eleven fearful apostles who became empowered through the gift of the Holy Spirit and then they carried this legacy into their future. Because of those humble and challenging beginnings, even today, we still draw on that legacy and always will.
Jesus’ legacy has been given to each one of us to carry forward. Like the first disciples, each of us is called into the mission field to proclaim Christ crucified and risen, “living the mission of Jesus Christ, leading to eternal life.” Christ’s mission has been given to each of us in baptism and strengthened again through the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Lord has promised to “be with us always” (Mt 28:20) never depriving us of the help necessary to carry out that which has been entrusted to us.
The mission statement of the Diocese clearly reflects this:
We, the Diocese of Rapid City, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are called to attract and form intentional disciples who joyfully, boldly and lovingly proclaim and live the mission of Jesus Christ, leading to eternal life.
Each of us must answer our call to evangelize, to share the Gospel so that Jesus’ mission is lived in our own time and for generations to come.
The vision of the Diocese of Rapid City expressed in the Priority Plan also echoes the vision of Jesus and his public ministry. Recall our vision statement:
Reconcile – Make Disciples – Live the Mission. Our vision statement provides the window in which we see our mission. These identifying marks — Reconcile – Make Disciples – Live the Mission — are the foundation stones for moving the diocese forward in the future.
As you will read on pages 1 and 2 in this edition of the West River Catholic, the diocese is embarking upon a capital campaign to assist in the work of carrying forward the legacy of Jesus into our future. To reflect this, the campaign has been entitled: Living the Mission — A Legacy of Faith, A Legacy of Giving.
Living the Mission invites each of us to personally take up the mission of Jesus, leaving our own legacy of faith and a legacy of giving in response to our call to discipleship. Living the Mission as outlined in the Vision Statement in the Priority Plan is not a project to complete but an ongoing way of discipleship. It is also reflected through the Living the Mission — A Legacy of Faith, A Legacy of Giving campaign whereby our generosity offers us the hope of continuing the mission of Jesus in the Diocese of Rapid City and the Rapid City Catholic School System for years to come by meeting current pressing needs.
The goal of the Living the Mission campaign is $12,000,000 to support a new Pastoral Center, the Priests’ Pension Plan, Native American Ministry, the RCCSS Endowment and a new cafeteria and kitchen at St. Thomas More High School. Again, on pages 1 and 2, more information about these goals can be found. These current needs, as well as future needs not described here, were developed through a comprehensive master plan- ning process completed in June 2017.
Living the Mission — A Legacy of Faith, A Legacy of Giving provides the people of the Diocese of Rapid City a real opportunity to not only carry forward the legacy of Jesus, but to leave our own legacy for generations to come just as those before us have done. This legacy of faith and generosity has been the hallmark of the diocese for generations.
I hope that you will join me in continuing this holy tradition following in the footsteps of our Master, who not only showed us the way, but taught us the way. Together, we will leave a wonderful legacy for those who follow us and the mission of Jesus can become more fully present among us, all across the diocese.
May Christ’s peace, love, joy, and faith reign in our hearts.