Faith is theme of 2013 Festival Letter by Bishop Jenky
Photo Caption: “The message of the Gospel is so consoling and compelling that believers should not be able to contain their enthusiasm for sharing it with others,” writes Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, in “Faith.”
By: By Tom Dermody
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, opened 2013 by calling Catholics to “deepen the intensity of our faith and so inspire greater fervor in our worship of God and greater energy in the service of neighbor.”
In a major teaching document titled “Faith” — printed in full in the Jan. 6 issue of The Catholic Post and also available online here — Bishop Jenky shares what the word means to him “both as a fellow believer and as your bishop.”
The document is the bishop’s 11th annual “Festival Letter” to the Diocese of Peoria. It echoes the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI to observe a “Year of Faith” from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013.
“Basic to my understanding of faith is the notion that we must always ‘let God be God,'” writes Bishop Jenky. “There is profound wisdom in the simple ideas: ‘I can’t. God can. Let God,'” he adds later.
Bishop Jenky asks every believer to accept Christ’s mandate to “go out into the whole world and announce the Good News.”
“The message of the Gospel is so consoling and compelling that believers should not be able to contain their enthusiasm for sharing it with others,” writes the bishop. But while God gives everyone opportunities to share their faith, “not everyone accepts this most basic responsibility of Catholic Christianity.”
The church exists to evangelize, emphasized Bishop Jenky.
“Evangelization means the joyous announcement of the greatest possible Good News,” he wrote. “God loves us, and in Jesus Christ we can know God and so know wholeness and salvation.”
He pointed out that booklets to assist in sharing the faith will soon be made available online at the Diocese of Peoria website.
Like Pope Benedict, Bishop Jenky called Catholics to greater prayer and a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith.
“We cannot give what we do not have, and we cannot bring others to Christ unless we ourselves are engaged in a life-long journey with the Lord through our growing adherence to his teaching,” he wrote.