Easter Greetings –
Dear CITI Family,
Happy Easter! What an amazing time it has been – The Roman Catholic Church has been the focus of much attention worldwide recently as Pope Benedict XVI resigned his papacy in Lent giving way to a conclave that elected a new pope in time for Holy Week and Easter festivities.
We welcome Pope Francis and pray that as newly elected pontiff, he will be open to many discussions that are taking place among the flock. As members of CITI Ministries we certainly hope and pray that Frances will see the light of the 21st century. We pray that he listens to the pleas of the people and his own bishops, many of whom have voiced concern over the shortage of priestly vocations and are suggesting a change of heart from the Vatican regarding mandatory celibacy. The pope himself is quoted to have struggled with his feelings and call to celibacy after meeting a lovely young woman at a wedding many years ago. He met with his spiritual director at the time and after discernment did continue on the path of priesthood and the celibate life. However, there are countless stories of other priests who made a different decision after their discernment process and as you well know, the two vocations of priesthood and marriage can and do complement each other. The gift of a married priesthood is one that so many Catholics are eager to embrace. May the risen Christ continue to work in each of us as we plant the seeds, and do the fruitful work that we are called to do.
Health of CITI Ministries & its leader.
I am happy to say that as of March 14th my radiation treatments were completed and I am cancer free with a wonderful prognosis! I will take daily meds for five years and other than routine follow-up exams I am good to go. Let me take a moment to thank you all for your prayers, and emails of support as I went through the process of tests, surgery and radiation. Thank you also for your patience in delayed phone and email responses during this time. It was a blessing having so many people in my corner.
Regarding the health of CITI Ministries, we are doing well – but always have room for improvement. We lost ten+ memberships this year, reasons given were: affiliating with different churches, not enough interest from folks in their particular geographic area, and aging out. It is difficult to lose priests as we are already limited in the numbers available to serve within our organization. It saddens me when people send in their email requests and I cannot accommodate them because there are no priests in their specific areas. Please let me know if you are willing to travel and how far you would go. Perhaps we can add that information to your listing along with travel fees that would be necessary.
On the bright side, we have two new applications being processed and one more that is just about to get started. Please send priest friends our way if you think they might be interested.
CITI Ministries website
The long, slow process of updating our website continues and it should be ready to launch by May 1st. We will be sending you the link before it goes public. It will not be complete at that time but the main pages for contacting priests, and basic information about us will be available. You may now view the new website and give us feedback but please remember that we still have much to add. Click on www.citiministries.org
There are two main reasons why we have changed our website: 1.) To more clearly focus on CITI as ministry and 2.) to have the ability to add and edit pages on our own thus saving time and expense. Until now we would be charged $50.00 or more every time we wanted to make a change to one of our pages, even a simple edit to a name or number of a contact person. Now we will totally manage the website paying only the yearly hosting fee. You may notice a picture of yourself in ministry on our homepage. Let me know if you would like that removed and I will find a replacement. Also, on our Ministries page we are providing testimonials (like reviews, which are often researched when people are looking for services.) If you would like to send some positive written and signed comments that you have received I would love to have a few more on the site, especially if they are dated recently.
My husband David & I participated in a joint radio interview several weeks ago. It is scheduled to air on April 30th on a Wesleyan University broadcast station. Dave is the Maryland Regional Director for SNAP and we combined to give our thoughts on the state of the church specifically regarding celibacy and the sex abuse crisis. The show was recorded on March 15th, two days after the election of Pope Frances. Hopefully we will be able to have a recording of it and visitors to our website will have access to it.
I went to the Maryland Call To Action kickoff meeting on Saturday, April 6th. Fr. Roy Bourgeois was the keynote speaker and his story was quite inspirational and challenging. He certainly reminded me of why it is so important to keep speaking up and striving for justice within our church and communities. I am hopeful that CITI Ministries can connect with MD CTA and work together to spread the word of our mission and ministry.
Thanks to all of you for your dedicated work and willingness to meet the needs of the people of God where they are. I am proud of the work we do and I hope that the plans that have been on hold will be able to take hold, now that I am in a better place with my health.
The CITI Ministries Board of Directors thanks you for your prayers and support!