Thursday, December 5, 2013

Archbishop Listecki: Love One Another Weekly Communication

One of the things that I have been grateful for in this Archdiocese of Milwaukee is a new communication resource that Archbishop Listecki has started entitled "Love One Another." In this weekly initiative, I feel that Archbishop Listecki seeks to reach out to the Archdiocesan community on a more personal level, sharing personal stories and experiences along with updates on local church news, events, and feast days of saints. You can find these articles on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website and sign up to have it emailed to you. Below is the latest edition.

Love One Another
December 3, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There are certain romantic images that captured our imagination as students in Catholic grammar school. One such image was that of the missionary. The scene of the cassock dressed priest holding the crucifix, preaching and converting the natives, or the image of the religious sister dressed in habit and surrounded by children as she introduced them to Christ through the words of sacred Scripture. Those images were as influential as the recruitment poster of Uncle Sam with his finger pointed outward, saying, “I want YOU for the U.S. Army.”

Well, Christ wants you. The idea of being a missionary and bringing Christ to the world was attractive to anyone of faith. However as we grew older, we realized that the missionary life was not as romantic as it may seem in the pages of magazines or presented in the movies. It was a difficult life of sacrifice.

Today we honor St. Francis Xavier, S.J., one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the Church. St. Francis was one of the first members of the Society of Jesus. Influenced by St. Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises to dedicate his whole life to Christ, he fought against those in authority who would abuse the native population, cared and nursed the sick and catechized people throughout the Far East. As John Coulson wrote:

“When one considers the conditions of travel, the means of transport, the delays and difficulties which beset him at every stage, the area he covered is physically an astounding achievement. It is even more remarkable when one considers that he left behind him a flourishing church wherever he went and that the effects of his labors remain to the present day.”

St. Francis fell sick and died at the age of 46 while attempting to enter into China. He left the mark of Christ on southern India, Ceylon, Malacca and Japan. He is the patron of foreign missions. The Jesuits hold a special place of honor for St. Francis Xavier, alongside of St. Ignatius.

We should all be grateful for the work of the missionaries who carry the message of Jesus to every part of the world. Hopefully their image and work will challenge us to boldly proclaim Christ in this foreign land of secularism. We should do it not because it’s romantic, but because we love Christ, who commands us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Alive in faith,

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee

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