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CHARLOTTE – Approximately 100 priests and all of the bishops of the province attended the 2021 Provincial Assembly of Bishops and Priests Aug. 23-25, hosted by the Diocese of Charlotte.
Michael Gormley, founder and creator of LayEvangelist.com and producer and cohost of the “Catching Foxes” podcast, was the presenter. He delivered several talks about “Christus Vivit” (“Christ is Alive”), Pope Francis’ 2019 post-synodal apostolic exhortation on young adult and youth ministry.
During an Aug. 24 Mass, Archbishop Hartmeyer encouraged the clergy to follow the examples of St. Bartholomew and St. Philip – responding to God’s call in their own lives and then sharing the Gospel with others, especially young people.
The Mass on the Feast of St. Bartholomew, also called Nathaniel, was offered at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte.
Although we know little about St. Bartholomew, he was chosen by God before he was born to bear witness to God’s glory, Archbishop Hartmeyer said, reflecting on the passage from Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
The apostle’s call to follow Jesus – just as with their own calling – is a wonderful mystery, he told the clergy present.
“It’s a mystery that we participate in, both as baptized and as ordained,” he continued.
Sometimes it involves introducing others to Christ, especially a young person who thinks they are called to ministry. Sometimes it means encountering Christ personally in a deeper way and then motivating others to “come and see.”
“The Lord has known each of us since before we were born, and He remains present in our lives,” Archbishop Hartmeyer said. “He is with us in our most effective moments and He is with us when we make a mess of things.”
All of us are called to holiness, to join in the vision of the apostles, he said.
“Our loving God wants to show us the great things that Nathaniel saw, He wants us to see Him in the breaking of the bread, in the sick and forgotten, in the troubled and in the sinful. He wants us to see each other, in each other, especially those whom we dislike.”
“The God who knit us in our mother’s womb, who knows us intimately, is always waiting for us, to respond to His call.”