December 3, 2019
Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
Dear Friends of the Institute,
I pray that you and your family are abundantly blessed as we enter into the Advent season and wait with great expectation for the coming of the Glorious Christmas season.
I write to you, today, to commend the good work of the Institute of Catholic Culture and earnestly encourage you to generously support their efforts to teach the Truth of Jesus Christ.
As a bishop, teaching the Catholic Faith is particularly near to my heart and on the day of my episcopal ordination I made a promise to God to guard this Deposit of Faith entire and incorrupt. Sadly, our greatest problems are rooted in unbelief caused by ignorance, and we must seek new and creative ways to teach and share the wonder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The best way to address it is to teach with absolute clarity so as to give the faithful the tools to meet the current challenges.
It is clear to me, after having experienced the Institute of Catholic Culture first hand, and by the fact that close to five hundred people participated online via the ICC’s webinar broadcast, that Fr. Hezekias, the ICC Board of Directors, and the Institute staff are blazing a trail for the faithful to grow in the knowledge of the faith and to bring that gift to others. The quality and subject matter as well as the orthodoxy of the teachers at the Institute make it clear to me as a bishop that the ICC is concerned first and foremost with teaching the Apostolic Faith in order to equip people to grow in holiness and so be guardians of the Deposit of Faith.
During my recent visit, I gazed around the packed hall at St. Veronica’s Parish in Chantilly, VA, seeing so many come together in conversation and realizing that there were twice as many also engaging via the ICC online webinar, St. Luke’s description of the early believers came to my mind: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.” (Acts 2:46). The warmth I experienced was not limited to the people in the church hall that night. By using the latest technology, the ICC has changed the often impersonal internet experience into an opportunity to build relationships regardless of location – a vital component in the work of the new evangelization.
I earnestly commend ICC’s work and encourage you to generously support it during its End-of-Year Drive. We must be part of the change we want to see in the world and in our Church today, and participating in the Institute of Catholic Culture’s mission through a financial gift is a noble and good way to do this. Please, prayerfully consider donating to this worthy catechetical and evangelical effort.
May God bless you for your generosity.
Most Rev. Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop of Tyler