Reflection – My Vision
My vision for the Archdiocese of Newark is the vision of a missionary disciple.
We tend to think of missionaries as other people (not us) who have a special calling and unique gifts. We have come to think of missionaries as clergy, consecrated religious or lay people who travel to distant lands and endure many hardships in order to preach the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis tells us that this image is not wrong, but it’s incomplete.
We are all called to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ who bring his good news to others—in our homes and workplaces, in our parishes and neighborhoods, and in our personal contributions of time, talent and treasure to the Church’s worldwide mission.
“Before all else,” the Holy Father says, “the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others” (The Joy of the Gospel, #39).
In light of this Vision, I pray for the unity and solidarity of our people (clergy, religious, and laity) and I long for a Church that is one with the poor, especially immigrants; that is bold and enthusiastic in its proclamation of the Gospel; and that eagerly and consistently passes on the faith to future generations, especially those children and youth who are economically and socially disadvantaged.
I foresee a future where lay people are fully engaged in the life of our Archdiocese at all levels – and where young adults play a direct and decisive role in our worship, our faith formation, and our service to those in need. I see priests united with one another and with the people they serve.
I see deacons, consecrated women and men, and lay people who feel empowered and included in their respective roles and responsibilities for building up the Body of Christ here in northern New Jersey.
My vision for our Archdiocese is one of genuine unity and solidarity in Christ. Our differences should enrich our Church, not divide it. The challenges we face – which are many – should bring us closer together and allow the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom, courage, perseverance, hope, and generosity that we need to be successful as missionary disciples.
Sincerely yours in Christ the Redeemer,
Cardinal Joseph Tobin CSsR
Archbishop of Newark
With thanks to the Archdiocese of Newark.