Just a few days ago I was blessed to travel to Fort Mitchell, Ala. I had a meeting there. But, as I was driving on the highway from Opelika to Fort Mitchell I was pondering about how blessed I am to live in the city of Mobile. I am really pretty spoiled. Not because Mobile is more beautiful, or because the people are nicer, or anything like that. There is beauty everywhere in this state and I have found that across the archdiocese the people are generous, loving people. We are lucky in Mobile because of the presence of so many Catholic parishes.
As I was driving toward Fort Mitchell I realized that I was dozens of miles in any direction to the nearest Catholic Church. From my home in midtown Mobile I am 5 miles, or less from MANY churches. I am afraid to start naming them because I might miss one and offend someone. But, off the top of my head, I can count nine. If I expand to just beyond the five miles I can reach another half-a-dozen. It is relatively easy to live a life rooted in the Sacramental life of the Church here. It is not so easy for many other people in the archdiocese. Many of our brothers and sisters have to drive 20-40 miles to get to the nearest Catholic Church. Even if we had the money to build more churches across the archdiocese we would not have enough priests to staff them. Many of our priests serve multiple parishes. Some of our priests in the city of Mobile are serving alone in parishes that formerly had two or more priests.
Let us pray for the Lord to send more laborers into the field. Let us support our priests as they seek to serve a proportionately larger flock and let’s roll up sleeves and offer to be collaborators with our priests.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information concerning the events of this office, visit us at mobilefaithformation.org