More than 700 people gathered Nov. 3 for Convocation 150 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center as part of the yearlong sesquicentennial for the Diocese of Wilmington.
The gathering of leaders from parishes, schools and Catholic organizations is where the diocese hopes leaders can reflect on where they are and have been and envision and embrace a pathway for mission and ministry.
The Dialog spoke with a cross-section of people as they arrived for the daylong session and asked them each one question:
In 150 years, members of the diocese will be celebrating its 300th birthday. What message would you like to share with them?
“I am very grateful for the Lord to be present at 150 years of the diocese. Many are called but few are chosen. We invite you to listen to the call of the Lord.”
— Roman Cuin, Immaculate Conception, Marydel
“For me, I’ve always been Catholic and a very spiritual person. Being Catholic brings me closer to God. I always tell people, ‘When something doesn’t feel right, find God and it always seems to turn it around.’ Talk to God. I always feel better.”
— Sheris Owens, St. Joseph’s, Wilmington
“Faith is never-ending. Even if you fall away, faith and God are always there to bring you back.
— Cheri Pearson, St. Luke’s
— “Try to get youth more involved – in church and just life in general.”
— Gary Rose, St. Hedwig
“Get people back to church – youth and everyone.”
— Suggie Rose, St. Hedwig
“Do away with the sanctuary rail. Reach out to the pews. Reach out to every person that walks through the door. Revel in ownership and grace.”
— Bill Nickerson, St. John Neumann
“If the church is still in the throes of trying to improve itself, first thing is to get laity involved, especially women deacons and/or priests.”
— Judith Warson
“Think back to the history and what the church has gone through. It seems the abuse problem comes back and back and back. Corrections have to be made. Light a light in seminarians. The personal damage abuse causes … you have an opportunity to look back to correct it.”
— Charles Robinson, St. Polycarp
“I think that with respect to the church, it’s really trying times for everybody’s faith. I hope they’ve benefited from our mistakes.”
— Kristin Camp, St. Ann’s, Wilmington
“I have the same message we’ve been following for 2,000 years – stay centered on Jesus.”
— Francis Corrigan, Holy Family, St. Mark’s High School
“The blessings grow with the work of the community. May we do many works and bear more fruit
— Ashley Salas, Immaculate Conception, Marydel
“I would say continue to love one another as we do today. Build upon God to inspire others.”
— Rebecca Fuzy, St. Thomas Oratory, St. Bernadette