Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we are reassured in the Gospel of Saint John (10:1-10) that Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd and that He has come so we can “have life and have it more abundantly.” During this uncertain time, I invite you to join me in meditating on this image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd caring for us and carrying us on his shoulders.

As we endure the cross of COVID-19, I want to thank you for your continued support of your parish and the Catholic Ministries Appeal. I know by virtue of the mail we continue to receive each day that so many of you are, in your own way, placing the vital ministries supported by the Appeal on your shoulders. On behalf of the countless people who have benefited from your support, I am most grateful. I also pray for those whose present circumstances prohibit ongoing support of the Appeal.

The Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) is an opportunity to support the ministries that help us as we build up the Body of Christ. Your support keeps the foundation of our Catholic Church alive as we evangelize and carry out the Gospel message. Your commitment, during these most difficult of times, is extraordinary and a blessing to our entire community of faith.

We are blessed that our parish outreach operations are robust and able to serve many additional families who find themselves, some for the first time, struggling in their respective communities. However, these outreach programs are straining to fulfill the growing demand and are in need of additional financial support. Catholic Charities continues to provide expanded homecare services, expanded Meals-On-Wheels programs and shopping services to those most vulnerable. They too are under great strain to meet the growing needs across the Diocese. If you or a family member is ever in need of assistance, please contact the Catholic Charities helpline at (516) 733-7045.

We have also been working together with our Catholic schools to assist the underserved to get much needed internet service so that children can continue their education and parents can safely work from home.

During this unique time, there are so many ways to care for others and God’s Church. One way, if you are able, is to provide assistance by making a special gift to the 2020 Catholic Ministries Appeal, if you have not already done so. Your continued support is critical at this time. Please visit https://www.drvc.org/donate/cma/ to make a secured online contribution. We are so grateful for your generosity and commitment.

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, I ask that you especially pray for a rich harvest of new vocations to the priesthood. Please know that you and your family are remembered in my daily prayers and Masses.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre