Letters from the Bishop

October 19, 2018

My Dear People of God,

God bless you all!

                In this moment of great challenge in our church, I ask for your prayers for healing and courage.  We come before God needing His assistance so that we may reach out toward those who have been hurt or who are hurting by the abuse crisis.  I am personally working to assure a better and safer future for our children! Never let us forget that all things are possible with God’s help!

                Of the many blessings I was excited about when I came to Nashville was that the diocese is poised for great growth and is a leader in priestly vocations.  What I have seen since becoming your bishop bears that out.  We have wonderful parishes and schools, and we are blessed with a strong group of seminarians.

                I will soon celebrate my first Priesthood Sunday as your bishop.  In the last eight months, I have come to know the priests serving our diocese, and I am happy to be working along with them to serve you.  I am grateful for each and every one of them.  I am thankful for the gifts and talents they share as priests and for their dedication to living out the life of Christ among us.

                Priesthood Sunday is a special day that is set aside nationally to reflect upon the role and vocation of the priesthood in the life of the Church.  Please join me in thanking the priests who have made a difference in your life.  Pray for these men every day!

                Seminarians are our future priests and are crucial to the future of our diocese.  They have been called and they are answering, but they cannot do it alone.  Their education and formation requires support from our priests but also from you, the lay faithful.  They need to be encouraged and guided in their vocations.  They need our prayer and our support as they continue to discern God’s will.  It is vitally important that these men are properly formed and educated as they prepare to minister to the People of God.

                For several years now, we have sought your financial support for our Seminarian Education Fund on Priesthood Sunday, which is celebrated this weekend.  You have been generous in your gifts, and your support has allowed 23 men to be ordained in the last five years.  Your continued support today will assist in the education and formation of the 27 men we currently have in formation.  These men represent the future of our Church in Middle Tennessee.  Your contribution today helps to ensure future priests will be available when you or a loved one needs them.

At this time especially, I share your belief in Jesus Christ who heals and strengthens us all.  We need good priests to bring us the light and life of Jesus.  Please help me continue to form the young men who are courageously answering the call to do just that.

                Please prayerfully consider supporting the Seminarian Education Fund.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding

Bishop of Nashville

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Prayer for Vocations:

Loving God,

You call all who believe in you to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps of Christ your Son.

We pray to You to call from among us more men who will serve you as priests.

By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign of your kingdom for the Church and the whole world.

Gracious and loving God, help men of our parish to hear their call to serve as priests in the Diocese of Nashville.

Our needs are great and our people thirst for your presence.

Open the hearts of many, raise up faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated, holy priests, who will spend themselves for your people and their needs.

Bless those who are serving now with courage and perseverance.

Grant that many will be inspired by their example and faith.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

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