Changes in nation, diocese

The central theme of this just concluded marathon election season was “change,” and change our nation will experience with Sen. Barack Obama as its next president. The White House will see a change of party, an historic change of race, a generational change, and significant shifts in direction on a host of issues.

Change is not limited to politics. All of us who put rakes or leaf blowers to frequent use in the past week know our glorious fall is giving way to approaching winter. Halloween decorations are stored away. The harvest is nearly complete. Some changes are rushed, as evidenced by Christmas displays and music already in stores.

Pick a page of this week’s Catholic Post and you’ll find evidence of change including several stories of leadership transitions in the Diocese of Peoria. For example, King’s House — our beautiful diocesan retreat center in rural Henry — is now being guided by a community of women religious new to our diocese. We welcome the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary and can testify that the diocese has already been enriched by their joy and prayerful spirit.

In addition, our diocese’s outreach to its growing Hispanic population is changing with the naming of Father Fredi Gomez Torres as co-director of that ministry with Msgr. J. Brian Rejsek. And speaking of new presidents, last week also saw the installation of Joan Weber as president of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, an umbrella organization representing many parish groups that accomplish so much good in central Illinois and beyond.

Two stories in this week’s Post focus on caregivers. All who have this role in our families and institutions know that change can come several times within the course of any day. May God bless them and those in their care, and we hope many clip the caregiver’s prayer on page 5.

Finally, all of us who work for the Diocese of Peoria’s central offices know very well that change is not only in the air but in hundreds of cardboard moving boxes. This week, diocesan offices now scattered in many adapted buildings will make a long anticipated pilgrimage to a common home, the new Spalding Pastoral Center. We’ll have much more in the coming weeks on this change that will benefit our entire diocese for generations to come.

Change can be difficult or welcome, but it is certain. As Catholics, we are a pilgrim people, traveling through this changing life to an eternal home guided by unchanging truths. May we always be guided by these truths as we continue to pray for and act on behalf of our nation, our church, and our families. — Thomas J. Dermody, editor-in-chief, The Catholic Post

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