Fourth Synod Compiled Acts, Declarations and Statutes

Catholic Times January 22, 2017

Lex Cordis Caritas The Law of the Heart is Love

Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki Bishop of Springfield in Illinois

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ: Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 PM marks the opening of the Preliminary Phase of the Diocesan Synod with a Prayer Service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. In the months ahead during this calendar year of 2017, our Diocesan Synod will consider how we can make a communal commitment as a diocesan community of clergy and laity regarding discipleship and stewardship as a way of life. Closely related to this will be for us to look at how we can foster community-wide support of Catholic education so that more students will be able to attend Catholic schools. It is fitting that we give greater consideration to the importance of Catholic education as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week from January 29 to February 4. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” The theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of a Catholic education. First, schools are communities—small families in their own right, but also members of the larger community of home, church, city and nation. Faith, knowledge and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged. Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. As part of these Catholic Schools Week observances, I will celebrate an All Schools Mass for Decatur area schools at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Decatur on Tuesday, January 31, at 10:00 AM. Later that day at 12:30 PM, I will do a video chat with students of our seven Catholic high schools in our diocese. On Wednesday, February 1 at 10:30 AM, I will be at St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville for Mass for St. Boniface School, followed by visiting the students in their classrooms. On Thursday, February 2 at 1:20 PM, I will celebrate Mass for the students of Marquette Catholic High School and the local Catholic Grade Schools at St. Mary Church in Alton. I have been personally blessed to have experienced Catholic education at a variety of Catholic schools during my lifetime. In all of my experiences of Catholic education as


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