My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have more reason to be uplifted this year than most. After the devastating closures of our churches last year during the holiest season for Christians, we are once again able to celebrate together and partake of the Eucharist as a community of faith, surrounded by witnesses and the communion of saints.
This is not simply talk or an abstract concept. In the same way we know that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, we also know that those who have gone before us continually sing before the throne, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.” Many of our brothers and sisters have gone to the Lord during the pandemic, but we know they are not separated from us; they sing to the Lord and pray on our behalf. The prophet Isaiah spoke of it in the Old Testament, and it was reaffirmed by St. John in Revelation: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
As many of you may know, I submitted my resignation, as all bishops must do, on my 75th birthday. This may be my last Easter as your bishop, so I would like to reflect on what we have overcome together these past 12 years: We have faced a thousand-year flood, hurricanes, the tragedy of Mother Emanuel, protests and riots, a pandemic, and countless other obstacles to our faith. Yet here we remain. The faith of Catholics in South Carolina remains. This incredible trust and continued faithfulness is reinforced at Easter for a single reason: the holy Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
As with all clergy, bishops are appointed, serve, and eventually retire. We come and we go. But Christ, the head of his Church and the cornerstone of his Church, remains the same yesterday, today and forever. We trust that, in believing in Him, we have eternal life. We have the hope of salvation and a future in the presence of our Lord – a future when we too will sing at the foot of the throne: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God!”
May God bless you and your families throughout this Easter season. Please keep me in your prayers and know that you remain in mine.
Lea en español aquí: