Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope you are enjoying the Fall weather. It is hard to believe how quickly the seasons change and the holidays are approaching. With the change in weather and the seasons, the Church year will also change. At this time of the year it is tradition, to pause and reflect, and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
I was blessed this past summer to travel with a group of pilgrims from the Diocese of Las Vegas to attend World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland. WYD is a worldwide encounter with the pope and an opportunity for young people to join with their peers whose lives are also centered on Christ. But more importantly, WYD fosters vocations. Over a third of current U.S. seminarians cite previous Youth Days as a major influence in their decision to pursue the priesthood. The young people who attend see firsthand happy and dynamic young priests and sisters, and it encourages inquiries to a religious life.
As you know, we currently have seven men from the Diocese of Las Vegas in the formation process to become priests. Studying in the seminary can sometimes be lonely. You are away from home and your family and friends. Please check your parish bulletin or parish bulletin board for the names and addresses of these young men. They will appreciate your prayers and receiving your words of gratitude for their sacrifice.
May God continue to bless you and your families, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Joseph A. Pepe, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Las Vegas