Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

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She lived on Wall Street in New York, the daughter of a wealthy Anglican couple, the wife of a prominent businessman, the mother of five children; she was well educated, vivacious, talented in music and horsemanship, fluent in English and French, and well known in the high cultural circles of New York. Who could have guessed what would happen to her at the age of 31?

Our state is also beautiful because of the rich cultural diversity of the people who live here, a diversity that has continued to grow over the years, and is seen in the fact that, in our diocese alone, Mass is celebrated in twelve languages each Sunday!

Nuestro estado también es hermoso debido a la rica diversidad cultural de la gente que vive aquí, una diversidad que ha seguido creciendo a través de los años, y se ve en el hecho de que, en nuestra diócesis, ¡la Misa se celebra en doce lenguas cada domingo!

Members of consecrated life receive special charisms, not so much for their own good as for the good of others, to be integrated into the whole Body of Christ, the Church, and to be channeled into an evangelizing impulse at the service of the Lord. I pray that this may be one of the fruits of the Year of Consecrated Life.

On the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, St. John Paul II published a memoir which offered a personal glimpse into his priestly heart. He focused on two words, two realities that were the most prominent in his life: mystery and gift — the mystery of Christ and the gift of believing in Him.

A wedding banquet was not when we might have expected Jesus' first miracle. Usually, His miracles cured the sick, healed the leper, fed a hungry crowd of thousands, gave sight to the blind. So why did He work His first miracle at a wedding banquet?

Has the Holy Father given up on prayer and negotiations for peace? Or is he signaling the complex nature of peace making?

In this part of my series on Pope Francis’ Game Plan, then, it seems helpful to look at key elements of the Ignatian charism that are evident in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, the “Joy of the Gospel.”

There is a close connection between service of the poor, freedom and evangelization. Catholic apostolates integrate service to the poor with joyful witness to Christ; they serve because they love Jesus. They freely receive God’s mercy; they freely give mercy to others in turn. They imitate Jesus in His solidarity with the poor.

Pope Francis' words give us insight into some of his top priorities as the Bishop of Rome. It is worthwhile, then, to look briefly at what he writes about parish life today.

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