“We’re taught that miracles happen every day, and the results these ministries see are definitely miracles.” Morline Guillory, associate director of philanthropic services is hoping that the faithful of the diocese will want to help make those amazing results continue to happen.

The 2016 Bishop’s Faith Appeal is kicking off in parishes across the diocese as parishioners hear more about the works of diocesan ministries and Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas.

“We are using every avenue available to us to tell their stories – the ETC, our video, brochures and lay witnesses,” said Guillory, who is responsible for helping to run the yearly campaign that funds 18 diocesan ministries and the local Catholic Charities.

“Our theme this year is based on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and comes out of the idea of Pope Francis declaring this a Jubilee Year of Mercy,” Guillory said.

When Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. John Lateran Dec. 13, he declared that the time for tenderness, joy and forgiveness began anew. He said that the Holy Year of Mercy is a time for people to rediscover God’s real presence and His love. He also said for people of faith to go out and be “instruments of mercy,” that it is a lifelong journey to be merciful like God.

“The Catholic faithful in Southeast Texas can become ‘instruments of mercy’ like our Holy Father called us to do by putting into action the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy,” Guillory said. “Even though one individual may not be able to do all of them. Our diocesan ministries do these works of mercy every day.”

Each day the 18 ministries and Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas reach out to people in need. The Ministry to the Sick visits those in hospitals and in nursing homes. The Hospitality Center in Port Arthur feeds the hungry and gives drink to the thirsty. Criminal Justice Ministry visits the imprisoned.

“Each person’s gift to the Bishop’s Faith Appeal puts these Works of Mercy into action and each financial gift is important because it makes a difference to the people the ministries reach,” Guillory said.

Each child that receives instruction from a catechist who received training from the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is helped by gifts to the BFA. Youth and young adults who have spiritual and social events sponsored by Youth Ministry and Campus Ministry are the recipients of the support of the Catholic faithful throughout Southeast Texas.

“Each person’s gift is important because it means that the ministries can continue their good works in our diocese,” Guillory said. “They touch thousands by strengthening someone’s faith, consoling the grieving, converting the imprisoned and much more.”

Take the time to absorb the information in this issue of the East Texas Catholic, from presentations at the parishes and through the BFA video, Guillory said.

“Then prayerfully consider what your gift to the BFA could be in relation to your blessings. Can you become God’s instrument of mercy?”