by Dan Burke
Dear Apostoli Viae Family,
Blessed Feast of St. Frances of Rome to you all. The collect for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (OF) today is:
O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
This collect is, of course, fitting for Apostoli Viae and for this day. As I write this note Stephanie and I are driving away from a very blessed and encouraging meeting with one of the most faithful and courageous Bishops in our country and the world, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.
Though we already had an informal agreement that he would be the shepherd of Apostoli Viae, today this was made formal. As well, we rejoice that we have a young man who will enter seminary (God willing) this fall under the sponsorship of Bishop Strickland and he will attend seminary at St. Patrick’s under the direct care of Dr. Anthony Lilles. When he is ordained, he will be a religious priest whose life is dedicated to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacraments, and the pastoral care of the Apostoli Viae community.
Of course, this is a joyous moment but also one of sober significance. My heaviness is not one that emerges out of desolation but instead reflects the serious nature of our mission and God’s clear blessings upon us. He continues to entrust many souls to our care. Through our apostolates we serve priests, deacons, religious, and laity in more than 70 countries. Our role in preparing men for the priesthood has expanded to 15 dioceses. I believe God has called Apostoli Viae into this time to be an instrument of healing and renewal for the Church. This calling is not one that should instill pride, but instead a holy awe and humility that the King of Kings would invite us and equip us for this holy self-giving to His Heart, and to His Church.
The contemplative life to which we are called is about drawing near to Jesus. If nearness to Jesus brings all of His grace and healing, then our first task is clear: to sit at His feet. Then, as we rise, we rise in His power to light the Way and then lead the Way for those who desire this same path of Jesus’ healing and redemption.
Bishop Strickland is a light among bishops and thus it is fitting that he is leading those whose calling is to be a light to the world.
Please pray for this courageous Bishop – our shepherd, for our new seminarian, and for the community of Apostoli Viae, as we all seek to draw near to the One who has given all for the redemption of the world
Yours in Christ,
Unum est Necessarium