Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over the last year we have found ourselves using terms like “social distancing” and “the new normal.” Worship in church has been limited. Almost every area of life in the family, work and community has been curtailed in some way. And we are saddened by the illness and death of many, perhaps among our own families and friends as well. As a result, a certain sadness, weariness and frustration can set in with the passing of time, and a temptation to be discouraged or disengaged.
As we begin the 2021 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal (AAA), it is important to remember that the Appeal is not primarily about money as such, but about active charity and ministry to others. That is the inspiration for this year’s chosen theme: Reaching Out, Healing Together. We cannot afford to give in to discouragement or disengagement.
Even in the midst of whatever burdens we may bear as a result of the pandemic, more than ever the AAA is a call to action and generosity for the sake of the Church’s spiritual ministry and charitable assistance to a hurting and anxious world. We bear witness to a love that overcomes, perseveres, and is as boundless as God’s love for us; a love that responds with empathy to a neighbor who is struggling or in pain, and brings that person to a knowledge and love of God, a love that cannot be silent or still, but as St. Paul says, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor 13:7)
Reaching Out, Healing Together in the aftermath of the pandemic, we look forward to attending Mass and celebrating the Eucharist, spending time with our loved ones, and lending a hand to our neighbors in need. As we emerge, and begin to heal; adapting to the changes forced upon us, we must never lose sight of our faith and the good we can do for those who may be facing challenges in body, mind, soul and spirit.
By combining all of our individual gifts as one archdiocesan family of faith, we can accomplish great things in the name of Christ and his Church for the people of Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield Counties. Please share generously the time, talent, and treasure that God has bestowed upon you, so that together we can continue our ministries for the spiritual and material well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
This brochure illustrates just some of the ways that Reaching Out, Healing Together makes a difference in the life of our church and our communities.
God bless you.
The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair
Archbishop of Hartford