Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,
I am happy to announce that the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal for 2019 is dedicated to the theme “Sharing the Joy of the Gospel for Generations.”
”Sharing” reminds us of a fundamental truth of our faith – that is is “more blessed to give than to receive.” In the 6th chapter of Mark’s Gospel Jesus feeds thousands of people who came to hear him, but he does not do so out of thin air. Rather, he miraculously multiplies what the disciples have brought to him; namely, a few loaves and fish. A little in the right hands, given in faith, can work miracles.
“The Joy of the Gospel”
We like to speak of happiness, but Jesus in the Gospel speaks at a deeper level about joy – a joy that the world cannot give. The joy of the Gospel is the joy of knowing, loving and serving the God we cannot see by knowing, loving and serving the neighbor we can see. Jesus says, “What you do to the least of these you do to me.” So whether it’s acts of spiritual, moral or material mercy that we carry out in Christ’s name, we can be assured of receiving the gift of joy that He alone can give.
Today, more than ever, we recognize that people of every age group have need of the spiritual and material healing that the ministry of the Church provides. Pope Francis says we must be “a field hospital for the wounded,” despite the Church’s own wounds resulting from sin. And in the Church herself, we are challenged to engage the younger generation in continuing and furthering our charitable mission.
The 2019 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal presents us with a unique opportunity to combine all of our individual gifts in order to accomplish even more together as one family of faith.
I invite you to share generously of your time, talent, and treasure that god has bestowed on your, so together we can enrich, nurture, and foster the spiritual, moral and material well-being of individuals, families, and communities throughout Hartford, New Haven and Litchfield Counties.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair
Archbishop of Hartford