Diocese of San Angelo - Texas
I was very happy to receive your latest letter of February 12, 2010, in which you encourage all of us to be more active in supporting our priests during the Year for Priests. I first want to let you know that I am very grateful to you for the constant reminders you send our way and for the suggestions you have made for all of us as regards how we can help our people come to a new appreciation of the gift of priesthood and to show gratitude to our many, many faithful priests. In accord with your request, I point out the initiatives, programs and plans that I have been supporting in the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas – West Texas – during the Year for Priests.
First, at the beginning of this Year, I set up prayer and reflection meetings with groups of priests throughout the Diocese, sharing with them information about the Year for Priests, inviting their comments and stressing how we all need to imitate the model and patron of priests, St. John Vianney. After this prayer and reflection, a meal was shared with all in a spirit of fraternal charity.
I have also invited the Pastoral Councils of each of the 73 communities of our Diocese to have a special program to honor their priests twice during the Year for Priests. One of these occasions was designated to happen before Christmas, and the other appreciation event or ceremony is to take place between Christmas and the end of the Year for Priests in June. At the monthly Deanery meetings for our priests, I have prepared questions taken from the document of Vatican II for reflection by our priests and to seek their comments as to how we can all better live out our priesthood in the context of the reality in which we find ourselves.
I have also invited youth groups of each community to send a letter to me, expressing their reflections on priesthood and how much they appreciate the priests who are serving them. This is a way of encouraging vocations to priesthood and religious life.
During the Year for Priests, on almost a monthly basis, I have featured one or other article in our local diocesan newspaper about priests and the beautiful gift of priesthood and Eucharist. I have also invited our seminarians to share their reflections about priesthood with me. I have sent a special letter to each seminarian offering them reflections from the life and writings of St.John Vianney.
During the Year for Priests, all of our communities are constantly asked to pray for our priests and for more vocations for priesthood.
These are some of the initiatives and plans that we have been working on to celebrate the Year for Priests in the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas.
May our kind God continue to pour out many blessings upon you and the good service you give our Church.
Your humble servant in Christ and Mary,
+Michael Pfeifer, OMI
Most Rev. Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI
Bishop of San Angelo