Bishop Hying

Building on synod, our future will bear much fruit to the extent we remain open to the Spirit

As published in the Northwest Indiana Catholic on June 18, 2017


      I praise and thank the Lord for the gift of our diocesan synod! 

      Truly the work of the Holy Spirit, this historic gathering brought together leaders from throughout the diocese to prioritize and affirm the substance of a pastoral plan for the future and to pray for a fresh effusion of grace to renew our commitment to Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel. 

      I also thank the thousands of people who worked very hard to make the synod such a fruitful success.  This summer, I will be issuing a letter which affirms my acceptance of the pastoral goals voted on by the delegates and offer deeper reflection on how we will implement this plan together.  My initial thoughts on this important subject can be found on page A8 of this current issue of the Northwest Indiana Catholic.

      Ultimately, the synod is about our spiritual transformation as disciples of Christ.  All of our pastoral plans and projects will only bear fruit to the extent that we are open to the Holy Spirit, deepen our prayer lives, engage the Scriptures and sacraments with greater fervor and discover greater ways to evangelize others. 

      Dynamic parishes, effective schools, exciting religious education experiences, loving prayer groups, generous outreach to the poor and marginalized will contribute to the formation of families and individuals who will have both the competence and the confidence to carry the Gospel to the world.

      A priority of the synod is to deepen our joint commitment to serve the needs of the poor and marginalized. The efforts of so many parishes, schools, organizations and individuals are truly heroic in this living out of the Church’s social teaching. How can we go even farther and deeper in this integral piece of the Gospel mission? 

      I want to share with you an exciting project which has already seized the imagination of many people in the diocese. This summer and autumn, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and Catholic Charities, we will construct a house to be located at 604 Harrison in Gary (very close to the cathedral) which will be designed to stabilize a family living in a struggling environment.

      Single-parent families often find themselves in a cycle of poverty which is very hard to break. By providing a stable home, as well as needed resources for a life of self-sufficiency, the diocese and Catholic Charities will surround such a family with support to truly get them on their feet. Such initiatives break the cycle of poverty permanently, as well as offer solutions to immediate needs. The diocese will retain ownership of the house and Catholic Charities will identify the families we will serve, as well as provide the services required.

      We have named this project Tabor House because it was on Mount Tabor that the Lord Jesus was transfigured before the apostles. In this Transfiguration, they saw Jesus in his resurrected glory, transformed and revealed in his true identity as the Son of God. So too, we hope this project will transform the lives of families so they may discover their innate dignity as children of God and realize the human rights and blessings which each person deserves.

      Catholic social teaching reminds us that every person has a right to food, clothing and shelter, meaningful work and a safe environment, that families deserve support so that children can be nurtured lovingly in a stable home. 

      Tabor House will accomplish all of this.

      In the coming weeks, we will provide more information on this special project and the various ways that you can be a part of this exciting and important initiative within our diocesan community.  Thousands of wonderful disciples in our parishes are just itching to roll up their sleeves and accomplish great things for God and the poor. This project lets us do just that! 

      The Diocese of Gary has helped finance and build other Habitat houses, many around the cathedral.  I personally see how these homes have stabilized the neighborhood and given families a chance to live a more dignified life. Tabor House will stand in this service tradition, but with a twist, as we offer ongoing support and help to numerous families over the years to come, that they may not simply get a hand-out but a hand-up towards a liberating self-sufficiency and a genuine human flourishing.


       + Donald J. Hying

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