UP Catholic 00 01 2017 E Edition Page 2

2 June 16, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC TRANSFORMING FIRE: PASTORAL LETTER ON EVANGELIZATION www.upcatholic.org Thank you to the Knights of Columbus Councils of the Upper Peninsula for making it possible to publish Bishop John Doerfler's Pastoral Letter on Evangelization in the Diocese of Marquette! Transforming Fire: A New Pentecost to form Spirit-Filled Evangelizers A Pastoral Letter on Evangelization for the Diocese of Marquette When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of ire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:1-4) Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Let us pray for a new Pentecost in the Diocese of Marquette! Let us pray that the Holy Spirit come upon us anew, that by the transforming fire of his love he may fill us with the Joy of the Gospel and form us into Spirit-filled evangelizers, as he trans- formed the Apostles on the day of Pentecost! In my visits to all the parishes and missions of the Diocese of Marquette, I have witnessed personally how you are living out the Joy of the Gospel . I pray that the fire of God's love already enkindled in your hearts will burst into flame and grow, as the Holy Spirit transforms us into Spirit-filled evangelizers. On the day I was ordained and installed as the thir- teenth Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, I shared with you my pastoral plan for the diocese when I asked you to be a friend of Jesus, make a friend, and introduce your friend to Jesus . This three-fold approach succinctly summarizes how we evangelize. To evangelize means helping people encounter Jesus by sharing the Gospel message so that they make a personal decision to follow Jesus in faith . In this pastoral letter, I wish to share a more de- tailed vision of our pastoral plan, in which we allow the Holy Spirit to form each and every one of us into a Spirit-filled evangelizer , like our first bishop, the Venerable Frederic Baraga. Spirit-filled evan- gelizers are Christians who are transformed by the love of the Holy Spirit and follow the Spirit's lead to share Jesus with others . Together, as members of Christ's body, the Church, the Holy Spirit will work powerfully through us and our parish communities to draw others closer to Jesus. Pope Francis describes Spirit-filled evangelizers in this way: Spirit-filled evangelizers means evangelizers fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, the Spirit made the apostles go forth from themselves and turned them into heralds of God's wondrous deeds, capable of speaking to each person in his or her own language. The Holy Spirit also grants the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness (parrhesa) in every time and place, even when it meets with opposition. Let us call upon him today, firmly rooted in prayer, for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our message empty. Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only with words, but above all by a life transfigured by God's pres- ence. (The Joy of the Gospel, 259) Please join me in praying for a new Pentecost in the Diocese of Marquette by praying the following prayer every day: Prayer for the Formation of Spirit-Filled Evangelizers O Holy Spirit come into my life and my heart. By the fire of your love, transform me and all Catho- lics throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula into Spirit-filled evangelizers. I pray that more and more people may come to know the love of Jesus Christ and make a personal decision to follow him. I pray for all the people that I know who are not practicing any faith. Touch their hearts with your love, O Holy Spirit. Work through me so that they may have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and follow him in faith. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. In this pastoral letter, I will discuss the formation of Spirit-filled evangelizers in two parts, first by offering a vision and second by providing concrete ways for us to respond to the Lord's call. PART ONE: THE VISION OF THE PASTORAL PLAN I will outline a vision for the formation of Spir- it-filled Evangelizers in three steps: (1) be a friend of Jesus: personal encounter and prayer; (2) make a friend: building a community of love and forming welcoming parishes; (3) introduce your friend to Jesus: sharing Jesus with others and helping them make a personal decision to follow him in faith. 1. Be a Friend of Jesus: Personal Encounter and Prayer A. Personal Encounter The foundation for the formation of a Spirit-filled evangelizer is our personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit. In that encounter, we discover that a personal relationship with Jesus, knowing and loving God, is the true source of our happiness. Pope Benedict XVI describes the foundational encounter in this way: We have come to believe in God's love : in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the en- counter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. Saint John's Gospel describes that event in these words: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should ... have eternal life (3:16). (God is Love, 1) People encounter God in many ways. Here are just a few examples from the Bible: An encounter with God may be a quiet, peaceful awareness of

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