PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: Bishop’s visit will be a blessing

Our new bishop, Douglas Lucia, is set to come to our parish the weekend of Feb. 22-23. We look forward to this getting-to-know-you visit.

Celebrating Masses that weekend, along with the pastor, should be enlightening as well as enjoyable.

Although our faith reminds us that because of our baptismal character we are all called to be a priestly people invited to be instruments of the Lord’s presence, the bishop still holds a special place and role in the life of the church.

Reaching all the way back to Jesus naming St. Peter as the head of the early community in the company of the Apostles, Peter was the first bishop, so to speak.

Today, the challenges and opportunities set before our American bishops are more than ever. We are fortunate to have as the shepherd of our Syracuse diocese a fairly young and energetic person who has had much parish experience and just recently was consecrated as bishop — really, one from the ranks.

Of course, he will without a doubt encourage and remind everyone that sharing the worship and work and parish ministry of any Catholic community is for all of us to take part in — even if only to pray each day for the health and blessings of your parish.

The bishop is in the line of the original apostles charged to guard, increase and reach out with our wonderful doctrines, traditions and rituals that inspire deeper faith among the people of God is in care.

In these days when about 35 percent of registered parish members practice their faith regularly on the weekend, and when only about 7 percent become involved in parish life other than just attend Mass, it will be a welcome and helpful visit from our bishop to share words of blessing and inspiration in this new year.