By Bishop Stephen J. Berg
This new edition of “Today’s Catholic” provides me an opportunity to reflect upon my role as your Bishop. For the past year I have been traveling, meeting and worshipping with you. I vividly recall being moved by the beauty of God’s creation as I approached Creede, the jagged mountain peaks of Silverton, the mirrored surface of the Blue Mesa reservoir, and the vast plains of La Junta. Meeting you at each stop, the members of my Catholic family, has filled my heart with joy and expectation for our future together.
I have grown to feel at home, embracing more fully my call as Bishop to teach, sanctify and govern. Allow me to share some background and insights which will guide me in the development of my role, and which will influence our future together as a diocese. In my first assignment as pastor I was given four beautiful rural parishes, which also included a fifth vibrant Hispanic community. It was there that I realized and accepted, through grace, that my immediate pastoral mission was to “strengthen families in holiness.” This insight, of course, arose from my own experience of a large family, and was indeed validated by the needs and response of those parishioners in those isolated communities. This single purposeful insight gave focus to my ministry and offered our communities a lasting connection to the mission of Christ.