Forward from the Bishop
"Open the doors to Christ!" This invitation, spoken often by the great John Paul II, is the invitation offered by the "Rekindle the Fire" movement in our diocese. I am grateful for the faith-filled zeal of the men who seek to become better Catholics through their commitment to study the Word of God, deepen their knowledge of the faith, and share that faith through "Rekindle the Fire." In so doing, they open the doors of their lives, their hearts and minds, to Christ the Redeemer.
The study of Sacred Scripture and prayerful meditation on God's Word are important for growth in the Christian life. "Rekindle the Fire" recognizes that God's Word speaks to us today, enlightens us, and helps us on our pilgrim journey through life. As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us: "We meet Jesus in listening to the Sacred Scriptures." We need to listen to Him in His Word contained in Sacred Scripture. In Him, we find the words of eternal life.
Good and strong catechesis is a great need in the Church today. People are hungry for the truth. "Rekindle the Fire" seeks to satisfy that hunger through study of the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially as presented systematically in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechesis is an essential part of the new evangelization to which the Church is committed today. The Catechism helps the men in "Rekindle the Fire" to know their faith and enables them to give an account of their faith with clarity and persuasiveness.
The men of "Rekindle the Fire" share in the faith journey of one another. Through their common prayer and study, they grow in friendship with one another and assist one another in spiritual growth according to their state in life. Their growth in communion with Christ leads to growth in communion with each other in the Body of Christ, the Church.
I invite Catholic men to join in the "Rekindle the Fire" movement as a means of growth in the Christian life. We all need to rekindle the fire of faith that is within us. Of course, that fire is really the presence of the Holy Spirit who came down upon the apostles as "tongues of fire" at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit opens us to the joy of believing and inspires us to live our faith with conviction.
I entrust the "Rekindle the Fire" movement to the intercession of Saint Joseph, an example for all men of fidelity to Christ, holiness as husband, father and worker, and absolute readiness to do God's will. May all who participate in "Rekindle the Fire" learn to walk in the ways of holiness and justice, following Saint Joseph's example and with the help of his intercession!
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend