Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we near the end of the 50 day Easter season and approach Pentecost, I am reminded of our Lord’s words in John’s Gospel when He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” What a moment that must have been for the Disciples, to be commissioned from the Lord to continue His work on earth, to be His first evangelizers.
In the two millennia since that first Pentecost, hundreds of thousands of men have also answered the Lord’s call to continue His work as His priests. In the Diocese of Harrisburg, we were blessed to sponsor 19 seminarians for priestly formation this past year, three of whom will be ordained transitional Deacons and five who will be ordained as priests in 2022. Their commitment to follow the call from our Lord, even with all the challenges our Church has faced, is a testament to their faith and love for the Church and our Savior. However, these men in formation need your support, both spiritually and financially. Please, continue to pray for our seminarians and all our clergy, that they may be good and holy priests and deacons, spreading the love of Christ to His people. If you are able, I also ask that you prayerfully consider a gift to the annual Pentecost Collection for Seminarian Education, which is the weekend of June 5.
The cost to educate one candidate for the priesthood is approximately $40,000 per year. This cost goes beyond the classroom, as the seminarians are provided room, board, healthcare, and other nominal expenses. While the Office of Vocations does receive support from the Diocesan Annual Campaign, expenses associated with seminarian education far exceed that funding.
As a faith community, we share in the responsibility of providing for the formation and education of our future priests. The Pentecost Collection offers all of us the opportunity to financially support our men in formation. To make a gift, please use the special envelope provided by your parish or visit www.hbgdiocese.org/Pentecost-collection. In addition to your financial support, please continue to pray for our seminarians on their journey toward the priesthood.
On behalf of the holy and devout men who minister to the faithful in the Diocese of Harrisburg, I thank you in advance for your support and prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JCL
Bishop of Harrisburg