My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
May the Lord give you peace.
With a sense of joy and optimism, I write to share with you our plans for the Inspired by the Spirit campaign. The recent years have certainly been filled with some difficult and challenging times for each of us personally and socially.
Yet, this time has provided me the opportunity to pray and reflect on the future of our beloved Diocese. I reflected upon the period after the resurrection of our Lord and the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety the Apostles must have felt during those days that led them to hide in the Upper Room.
This time has also provided me the chance to see how the Apostles responded to the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. How they went into the world to challenge others to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and they did so boldly, without hesitation because they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
These recent times may have caused us great anxiety, but we are called by God to boldly proclaim our love for Him, to long for His saving grace, and to invite others to join His mission of salvation. As we look forward to the future of the Church of La Crosse, we should look forward with hope and opportunity, to go boldly into the world, to prepare our parish communities for a vibrant and usable future. Therefore, I call upon the Holy Spirit to intercede as we embark on the Inspired by the Spirit campaign effort.
This campaign offers all parishioners an opportunity to invest in the future of their local community and the overall Church of La Crosse. It is an occasion to come together, talk about the future, prepare for it, and invite others to participate. For each parish, this may mean something different; some parishes may be “Inspired to Renovate,” others may be “Inspired to Build,” while others still may be “Inspired to Evangelize” utilizing the funds raised to invest in evangelization ministry programs.
We also wish to continue investing in our vocation programs, our Regency and Journey programs, our support for continued education for our Priests through our Diocesan Annual Appeal as well as caring for the needs of our Diocesan Center. Also, funding the newly established Catholic Foundation will be an historic development that will provide for our parishes, schools, and ministries for decades to come.
As Catholics, our Lord calls us to boldly proclaim His Gospel, to live a life of service, and to invite others to His promise of Salvation. He has bestowed upon us the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us, to inspire us to move forward, and to do so without fear and anxiety but with energy, enthusiasm, and life.
Today, I invite you to help lead this important endeavor and for all of us to be “Inspired by the Spirit!” I humbly, and sincerely ask for your leadership and participation. In conclusion, I encourage you to please pray for the success of this campaign. God be with you.
Very truly, in the Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I am
+William Patrick Callahan
Bishop of La Crosse