Bishop's Blog / Communicating Jesus Christ: My Thoughts on the CET

By Bishop Strickland
Monday, January 05, 2015

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I wanted to share my reflection for the January issue of the Catholic East Texas with my blog readers.  I reference a survey which is underway about communications in the Diocese of Tyler.  Please consider taking about 60-seconds to complete that survey online.  Your responses will be of tremendous benefit for us...

Bishop Strickland's Reflection
Catholic East Texas - January 2015

As I offer my reflections for the last edition of the Catholic East Texas for which Jim D’Avignon will serve as editor I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on the Catholic East Texas, past and future.  I’ve always believed that one of the wisest decisions of Bishop Charles Herzig, the first bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, was to establish our diocesan newspaper.   I was a young priest in the diocese at that time and this was one of the many decisions of Bishop Herzig and his advisors that I have benefited from along with the entire diocese.  One of the first assignments that Bishop Herzig gave me was to serve as the first Vocation Director of the diocese and the Catholic East Texas was immediately a tool that provided great assistance.

The diocese will celebrate its 28th Anniversary on February 24, 2015 and many of us remember that exciting day at what Bishop Herzig dubbed, “the Holy Oil Palace” when the diocese began.  The Catholic East Texas (commonly referred to by so many of us as the CET) was right there and has been there reporting on virtually every milestone in the diocese since that cold February day in 1987.  The issues of the CET have become a tremendous archives of the history of the diocese, highlighting important moment s in the life of the universal Church, the diocese and local parishes and missions.  I’m sure that many of you who are reading this have more than a few of your own past issues tucked away in a scrapbook or stashed a box overflowing with other memorabilia. 

The CET truly does have a great legacy that I hope will continue to grow and develop in parallel with the diocese as it continues to build up the Catholic community of East Texas and proclaim Jesus Christ to every corner of our thirty-three counties.  Jim D’Avignon and all of the past editors have brought their own flavor and focus that has become a part of the history of the diocese as well. 

I know that we are all aware of the great changes that have taken place in our society and in the life of the Church during the twenty-eight year history of the diocese.  Some of the most dramatic changes have been in the area of media and communications.  The internet, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter etc. etc. were the stuff of science fiction in 1987 but now they are commonplace.  These developments have led some to predict the complete demise of print media.  We have witnessed our local newspapers shrinking in size and many have disappeared.  The CET has been effected by these changes, a few years ago we moved to a monthly publication and just last year the CET staff began to publish an online version.  Although the CET is likely to change in format and focus in the years to come I believe it will remain an important tool for quite some time.

I encourage you to complete the survey that you will find included in this edition of the CET.  Your input will help us to optimize the effectiveness of the CET in concert with the other media that we are using in the diocese to promote communication.  I would also encourage you to continue to give us feedback regarding all elements of communication in the diocese.  Ultimately the whole purpose of communicating is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our Catholic Tradition.  We need to use every opportunity to get the word out that Jesus Christ brings His light to every person and every corner of the diocese.  The Catholic Church has proclaimed this truth for two millennia and this proclamation will continue to be our mission until the end of time.  Please help us to use the CET and every other means of communication to continually return to this most basic mission.  The truth sets us free and Jesus Christ is the truth Incarnate at the heart of our Catholic faith.   

Bishop Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
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