STARTING ASH WEDNESDAY: Join Archbishop Aquila in praying a 54-day Rosary novena for a renewal of mission in the Archdiocese of Denver, ending on Divine Mercy Sunday (April 11). To learn how to pray a 54-day Rosary novena, click here.
As the Church prepares to enter into the season of Lent next week, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has issued a Lenten pastoral note to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver renewing the call for discipleship and mission in a world that has increasingly rejected the message of the Gospel.
Entitled “Our Apostolic Moment,” the note serves as an important pastoral reflection on the changing times we live in, times that can most appropriately be called a “post-Christian” world. In the note, Archbishop Aquila invites all Catholics in the archdiocese to engage in three intentional Lenten practices that will better equip them to live in this “apostolic age.”
Since his Ad Limina visit with Pope Francis at the beginning of last year, Archbishop Aquila has been in fervent conversation with the Lord about the mission of the Archdiocese of Denver, seeking the answer to the question: what are we as Christians called to bring to these troubled times? Throughout the many challenges of 2020, it became more and more evident to the archbishop that the answer is, and will always be, Jesus Christ.
This pastoral note is the fruit of deep prayer and is borne out of a conviction by Archbishop Aquila that, in this move from a Christendom to an apostolic time, building a culture of mission, focused on compellingly proclaiming the message of the Gospel, is where the Lord is calling him to lead the faithful of the archdiocese as their shepherd.
It is both a rallying cry for those Catholics who have become discouraged in their faith, and a call of hope and support for those Catholics who have been clinging to Christ throughout the pandemic and the social unrest of the past year, inviting them to join the archbishop and all faithful of the archdiocese to build a culture of mission together.
Below, Archbishop Aquila answers a few questions about his pastoral note. Read it in full at archden.org/our-apostolic-moment.
What is the goal of this letter?
Archbishop Aquila: We live in an incredibly confusing time for many faithful Catholics. I wrote this letter to bring clarity to the moment we are in and to provide a clear direction forward. All of our efforts to walk forward in faith must be rooted in an encounter with Christ as the unshakeable foundation for building a culture of apostolic mission in the Archdiocese of Denver. The three invitations I offer in the letter are, for me, key first steps in coming back to the primacy of that encounter and the Gospel.
Why write this letter now?
Archbishop Aquila: The confluence of world, political and Church events, coupled with the shift from a Christian culture to a secular culture, has made it clear to me that we are in a unique moment in history. This Lent, I could not miss an opportunity to speak clearly to the faithful of the archdiocese about what I have received in prayer. I am hearing from many faithful who are deeply confused by the moment we are in; in prayer, I believe that the need to proclaim a clear purpose for us this Lenten season was urgent and could not wait.
Who is this letter for?
Archbishop Aquila: The primary audience for this letter is those who live in the Archdiocese of Denver, since it is the portion of the flock God has entrusted to me, but anyone who has a desire to walk with us is welcome to participate in preparing for the apostolic age we are living in.
In a particular way, I feel a unique responsibility and burden to speak to those faithful who have been clinging to Christ throughout the pandemic and the social unrest of the past year, to call them to not lose hope and to join me in building this culture of mission together keeping the eyes of our hearts fixed on Jesus Christ.
Read the pastoral note in full at archden.org/our-apostolic-moment.