Dear + Bishops Byrnes, Hanchon, and Cepida:
Now, you are invited to lead the lost and oppressed, to lift up the fallen and afraid, to govern a church asunder, to unite, and, teach virtues, like charity, hope and faith, and, of course, to be holy.
Everyone wants to tell you how to manage people, parishioners, and the flock.
Here's just a friendly and fraternal reminder.
You are pastors.
Try not to be a CEO, or, an MBA, or, what you're not, OK?
We need pastors today. And, leaders who are willing to address the personnel problem among the shortage and scandals of priests and bishops today.
The heart of the Good Shepherd seeks and searches, and goes where others aims elsewhere. Go there where the sick, the forgotten, the lonely, the lost live in jails, in frozen hearts grown cold over time!
Please stand up when others choose to sit and say little, and, show less of truth to be told today in a fractured and broken world, a culture lost, and, not knowing where it is going.
Without a plan, the people are perishing, you know, as the psalmist pokes deep to aim clearly with an objective, a goal.
With fear wrapping us scared since 9/11, faith has to vibrantly lead by example. Fear knocks, faith answers, and no one is there.
Please tell the truth, hide nothing, and bring all matters to the Light of God's shine and scrutiny for all to see. No two-tier systems of a "party line" and separate Truth.
And, while your inner life unfolds more deeply in communion with God, please sit still long enough to tell the mysteries of life to young males who miss this lesson:
You don't get everything you want in life.
You lose some, and, win some.
You may be rejected by your first love, the gang at school, the team, even your family.
You may get pased over for that lead on the football team, or that job you had your eyes set upon, or that love you were hoping for.
You will one day die.
These are the paschal mysteries of life. When they are left untaught, males go into rage when they come up against their first rejection or fail on a test, or aren't given those designer jeans, or . . .
And, then, without the respect they need to be taught about sexuality, and, respect for self, others and weapons, terrible things happen and tragedy emerges so often, you know, in our culture of violence.
Have a heart always. Big and bright and wide and generous and wonderful to behold always! Live for others, but do take care of your health, your living temple given by God, and, eat, sleep, pray, and exercise well with routine and daily doses of laughs, hugs and encouragement.
Ask you priests how they are doing. We're all you got you know, with God's guidance and support. And, ask parishioners what the Church needs to be alive, and, to stop the faithful from going elsewhere to be nourished and spiritually fed and led.
Be the man God calls you to be. And be all yo can be with the influence you have to do good for all.
I will pray for you.
Wherever you go, go with God. Z Bogiem! (My parents would say in Polish).
Your brother pastor, in Christ the Good Shepherd,
Lawrence M. Ventline