(Msgr. Schaedelís letter for the bulletin of September 10, 2000)
Celebration in the Spirit of Hope: Itís almost hereóour major archdiocesan celebration of the Great Jubilee YearóSaturday, September 16, 2:30 p.m. at the RCA Dome.
As Iíve written so often these last few months in this letter, I encourage all of you to attend. Like most parishes, we will not have a Saturday evening Mass next Saturday. The archbishop has given special permission for this 2:30 p.m. Mass to fulfill oneís obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
Why do I think this is so important? Why is this a whole lot more than simply over 3,100 receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation? Why have I really been pushing this celebration these past several weeks? Let me share some thoughts with you. These are things Iíve heard Archbishop Buechlein speak of often. I agree with him 100%.
First of all, the Great Jubilee in itself calls for an archdiocesan-wide observance of the 2000th anniversary of our redemption. Why? Because we are the Church in central and southern Indiana and we need to see ourselves in communion with the universal Church at this propitious time.
Second, we need to gather as an Archdiocese so that the 152 parish communities in our 39 counties see that they are part of a larger communion of parishes, i. e., to see that our parishes are not islands unto themselves. The Jubilee is a wonderful time to do so.
Third, we have reason to join together as an archdiocesan community not only to celebrate the notable 2000th anniversary of our salvation but also because our archdiocese has been extraordinarily blessed by Godís goodness especially in recent years, and we need to thank God together.
Fourth, in our Journey of Hope 2001, we have now arrived at the third theme of celebration, namely Evangelization, the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ. Just this week there was an article in the news about a Vatican reaffirmation that "all faiths are not equal." One Church is not simply just as good as another. (Gee whiz, what a surprise! I am surprised that this reaffirmation warranted such news media attention.)
In our mission Evangelization, we want to reach out to those of our faith who have left who, or us for whatever reason, are not practicing the Faith. Subsequently, we will also reach out to those among us who have no Church home. Our mission will be to invite folks to "Come home, come in." Our Great Jubilee celebration is the occasion on which we launch this third theme of our Journey of Hope by invoking Godís blessing on our shared venture.
Fifth, every Catholic who has been baptized and confirmed is called to participate in the Churchís mission of Evangelization, that is, to tell the good news of our salvation. For this reason, the sacrament of Confirmation is eminently appropriate as part of our Great Jubilee celebration, as we gather also to pray for our future, for Godís blessing on our Evangelization mission.
Sixth, it will be a privilege, and undoubtedly a memorable occasion, for those confirmed on that day to have been part of the historic Great Jubilee celebration and the inauguration of our special evangelization effort. I am sure they will always remember the day they were confirmed.
I invite you to join in preparing for this historic opportunity for our archdiocese to offer special thanks to God for our redemption in Jesus Christ and to invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit for our future mission especially with your prayer.
I hope to see many of you there. If you are not physically present, be sure that you will be in my thoughts and prayers at Mass next Saturday afternoon.
Faithfully in Godís Providence,
Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, V.G.