Dear Flock of Tyler,
I know many of you were praying for me during the Bishop’s Retreat this past week at Mundelein in Illinois. I can’t express how grateful I am for your prayers and for the profound blessing this retreat has been for me. I am thankful to our Holy Father Pope Francis who personally sent Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, to direct this retreat. Father Cantalamessa is truly a holy man and he offered some profound and beautiful reflections.
I return from this retreat renewed in my faith and refreshed in the joy of serving as your shepherd. Father Cantalamessa reminded me and my brother bishops that fidelity to Jesus Christ is the sure answer to our present crisis. I am committed to renewing my focus on the Joyful Good News that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose to conquer sin and death. In this, he has vanquished evil once and for all and this allows us to place all of our trust in Him!
As I continue to serve you, I pledge to do my best to overcome my own weakness and focus always on Jesus Christ and bringing the light of His Truth to East Texas.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord
- Romans 8:38-39
Again, corruption and evil will not prevail: Christ has already conquered them. May this beautiful truth guide us through 2019 and beyond.
With assurances of my prayers for all the faithful of the Diocese of Tyler, and seeking the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we strive to conform our lives to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, I am
Bishop Joseph Strickland