2013 Annual Catholic Appeal
A Message from the Bishop
Dear Friends in Christ,
The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was a favorite among the early Christians. The walls of the catacombs are filled with drawings and etchings of the Good Shepherd. The image of Christ on the cross came later. Still, the two images, that of Jesus the Good Shepherd and that of Jesus crucified, say essentially the same thing: He gave his life for us. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
By laying down his life for us, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, showed the depth of Gods love for each of us. How do we in turn show our love for Him? At the Last Supper Jesus says: If you love me you will keep my commands. And what are the commands of the Lord? Jesus summed them up in the one commandment: Love one another No one has greater love than this that one lay down his life for his friend.
Good Shepherds who lay down their lives are husbands and wives who cannot do enough for each other. They are parents who make endless sacrifices for their children; doctors and health care workers who labor untiringly to show care for their patients; faithful Christian men and women who live the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, caring for those in need and bringing Good News to others; people who volunteer, who share their talents, time and treasure all for the good of others.
This years Annual Catholic Appeals theme is Feed My Sheep, words spoken by Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to St. Peter. But His words were meant for each of us who bear the name Christian. On the day of our baptism we were made one with Christ and we were commissioned to do His work. Jesus calls each of us to be His fellow shepherd, caring for, guiding, leading, and feeding His flock.
I appeal to you again this year to support the Annual Catholic Appeal as generously as you can. Your gifts of treasure do so much. They support our efforts to evangelize and catechize (two of our top Priorities for our total diocese). Your donations help to bring assistance to the needy and the lonely, peace and comfort to those in spiritual distress, religious instruction to eager minds, and guidance for struggling individuals and families. By answering the Lords call to Feed My Sheep, you will be helping in doing the work of our Good Shepherd.
Sincerely yours in Our Lord,
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington