Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Only yesterday it seems that we were gathering in our parishes to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Yet now, we find ourselves a few short days away from Pentecost, the day we celebrate the Lord sending us the Holy Spirit. If we recall our Gospel reading, before promising us the Spirit, Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” In that moment, the Apostles, and in turn all followers of Christ, were commissioned to spread His message of love, forgiveness, and mercy to all corners of the world. Our priests play a vital role in answering this call.
In the Diocese of Harrisburg, we were blessed to sponsor 12 seminarians for priestly formation this past year, three of whom will be ordained to the sacred priesthood and four who will be ordained transitional deacons in 2023. Their commitment to follow the call from our Lord 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 May 28. The cost to educate one candidate for the priesthood is well over $44,000 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.
When Christ commissioned His first priests, the Apostles, He gave them a shared responsibility to spread the faith. That responsibility continues and is shared by all of us. Each of us has a responsibility to be evangelizers and to support those who educate us in the faith – our priests. The Pentecost Collection offers us the opportunity to do just that. To make a gift and financially support the formation of our seminarians, 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.
As my time as the Bishop of Harrisburg comes to a close, know that I will continue to keep our clergy and religious, and the faithful in the Diocese in my prayers. May God bless you and continue to bless our Diocese with good and holy priests.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer
Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Harrisburg