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Bishop gives thanks for blessings


My sisters and brothers in Christ,

BISHOPS AUTUMN MEETING
As you know, I attended the fall meeting of Catholic Bishops of the United States last week in Baltimore, Maryland. Over two hundred bishops from all over our country gathered for prayer, discussion, and fraternal sharing. One of the highlights of our meeting was an afternoon reflection by Archbishop Gomez of San Antonio on the life of Saint Paul and how Saint Paul’s life and ministry was similar to our own. This reflection was followed by a holy hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and a chance for each of us to go to the Sacrament of Confession.

This was my third November meeting since I became your bishop. Each meeting is full of business issues and this meeting was no different. We spent time discussing the second part of the proposed English translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and have sent it on to Rome for approval. We agreed that our goals as a Bishop’s Conference would center on five areas: Cultural Diversity, Strengthening Marriage, Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice, Life and Dignity of the human person and Promoting Vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

We discussed the impact of the economic crisis and its effect on our people and heard a summary report on the Apostolic visitation of seminaries in the United States.

I ask for your continued prayerful support of all our efforts to speak and teach the truth in love. The divisions in our country and indeed, in our church must be overcome with truth, expressed and lived by all of us with clarity and humility. We must continue to be bold and not afraid of the forces in the world that would have us give up or walk away from our gospel values and the work given to us to bring about the Kingdom of God.
Only through much prayer, fasting, self-denial and growth in the truth can this be accomplished. Let us not be afraid and continue even more to do what is right. Thank you for your continued support and prayers for us.

THANKSGIVING
As we approach another Thanksgiving Day this November, I have much to be thankful for. I thank God for the gift of my life and the chance to live it in the United States of America. I thank God for my faith, my priesthood, my call to be a bishop and to shepherd the wonderful people of the Diocese of Sioux City. I am blessed with dedicated priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated persons and holy lay men and women. I give thanks to God for you every day. I am grateful for my supporters and admirers. I am grateful for those who challenge me and help me grow and change into a better Christian and minister of the gospel. I am grateful for the games won by the Broncos!

As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, we do well to remember all the blessings we have received from God, our loving father. Let us be glad and rejoice that we are loved by God and do all we can to share God’s goodness with others.

Finally, as Saint Paul says so often: I thank God for you and pray that we all continue to grow in holiness and love until we see the Lord face to face. May the Lord give you peace.

Your brother in Christ,

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

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