MARQUETTE - A pastoral letter is an official document written by a bishop, usually to the faithful of his diocese, whose subject matter covers faith, worship, or the practice of the particular church for which he is responsible.
The Venerable Frederic Baraga wrote his first pastoral letter in 1853 on the occasion of his ordination as the first bishop of what was then known as the Vicariate Apostolic of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but is now called the Catholic Diocese of Marquette. Baraga addressed his flock, the "spiritual children of the white population and the Indians of his new vicariate," regarding their principal and sacred duties to God.
Baraga's first pastoral letter will be the focus of the diocese's annual Spring Study Day, which will take place on Thursday, April 10, beginning at 9:45 a.m. (8:45 CST) at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette.
Rev. Corey Litzner and Deacon John Cadeau from the Catholic parishes in Baraga County will be the presenters. They will help participants to understand the five essential duties Baraga outlined in his letter - Faith, Adoration, Respect, Obedience, and Love - and their relevance to people today.
The cost to attend is $15, which covers morning refreshments, materials (including a copy of the pastoral letter), and lunch. Lenora "Len" McKeen, Associate Director of the Bishop Baraga Association, will have a display of Baraga articles, including some items available for purchase.
Registrations for the Spring Study Day are requested as soon as possible and can be made online by visiting: www.dioceseofmarquette.org/springstudyday. For more information, contact Denise Foye, Diocesan Director of Faith Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 906-227-9130.
All are welcome to attend the Spring Study Day and/or the Chrism Mass that follows at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. CST), also at St. Peter Cathedral. During the Chrism Mass, the sacramental oils are blessed and distributed to the Catholic parishes throughout the Upper Peninsula for use throughout the year in the celebration of the sacraments.