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Featured in Fides 10/23

Featured in Fides 10/23

Message from Bishop Raimo Goyarrola

Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ, dear friends,
With my heart full of joy I thank you for all the love, which you have shown me during the various events of the last weekend.
I also thank each of you that wished to participate in the Consecration Mass of the Bishop, but were unable to be present. Many of you have sent me heart-warming messages.
I hope that the joy and unity, which also many non-Catholics have told they witnessed and experienced, will be a continuing sign that Jesus is always with us, that He loves us and that He trusts us in the work of the new evangelization in Finland.
As Advent begins and we prepare to receive Jesus in our lives and in our homes, I wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas and a happy new year full of mercy.
I extend to you God’s blessing as a shepherd that loves you and carries you in his heart.

+ Raimo

New Appointments in the Diocese

The new bishop of the Diocese of Helsinki Raimo Goyarrola has made his first appointments, which became valid on December 1, 2023.
Fr. Jean Claude Kabeza, the pastor of St. Henry’s Cathedral parish, was appointed as the Vicar General of the Diocese.
The Bishop has also appointed the new Collegium Consultorum for a term of 5 years. The members are as follows:

  • Pastor Matthew Azzopardi
  • Pastor Rafal Czernia SCJ
  • Pastor Peter Gebara SCJ
  • Pastor Anders Hamberg
  • Vicar General, Pastor Jean Claude Kabeza
  • Monsignore Rudolf Larenz
  • Pastor Toan Tri Nguyen
  • Fr. Eze Charles Nwoko
  • Fr. Marco Pasinato
  • Fr. Manuel Prado
  • Br. Gabriel Salmela OP
  • Pastor Donbosco Thomas

    The Bishop has decided that the Presbyteral Council consists of all priests of the Diocese. The Presbyteral Council was also appointed for five years.
    Alpo Penttinen, Doctor of Sacred Theology, was appointed as the Bishop’s Secretary and the Chancellor of the Diocese.

The Pope’s Prayer Intentions for 2023

For persons with disabilities
We pray that people living with disabilities may be at the center of attention in society, and that institutions may offer inclusive programs which value their active participation.

Celebration of Joy and Unity – Finland Received a New Bishop

Bishop Raimo’s Sermon on the Feast of Christ the King

– First Sermon as Bishop in St. Henry’s Cathedral on Nov. 26, 2023

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another” (Mt 25:31-32).
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This marks the end of the Liturgical Year. At this time of a new beginning, also the new bishop begins his office in this Diocese. From the Liturgy of the Word we learn three things: what it means to God to be “king,” what the good citizens of the Kingdom He wants are like, and how to practically live in this kingdom of God.

The First Reading offers us the king’s own point of view: I myself will search for my sheep and examine them… The lost I will search out, the strays I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, and the sick I will heal (Ez 34). In other words, our king is a shepherd who loves his sheep. He knows the name of each, cares for and protects each, and does not forget any of them.

Last week I was received in Rome by Pope Frances. I asked him for advice on how to be a good bishop. He urged me to walk in front of the flock showing the way, in the middle of the flock escorting it, and behind the flock helping the last ones, the poor and the broken, and at the same to time follow the whole flock, as it has a sense of smell which guides it to pasture. By the grace of God, and with His help, I wish to be such a shepherd.

In the Responsorial Psalm the people say to God: ” The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down — Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord (Ps 23). But what, then, is this kingdom of God like? In this day’s Gospel, Jesus shows us specifically His kingdom. “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food — I was a stranger and you welcomed me — ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ (Mt 25:34-36). This is a kingdom of very real, ordinary and concrete matters. We hear the words: hunger, thirst, poverty, illness, persecution. In the middle of these things and through them love is manifested.

I asked the Holy Father what he wished to say to Catholics in Finland. He quickly responded: “They must be like leaven, which even in small amounts ferments the whole dough. Even though we are only few, we can change the society.”

Thinking of the concrete examples given by Jesus in today’s Gospel, I believe that the building of God’s kingdom begins at home with your children, your parents, your spouse. And then in the larger circles, with other family members and friends, at work and at school, with your neighbors…

We have been invited to carry out a revolution of peace and joy in Finland. For this, we must feed, give drink, clothe, educate, advise… in other words, serve. Serve. As Jesus: he did not come to be served, but to serve. I have chosen as my episcopal motto “Serve the Lord with joy.”

This can form the basis for the kingdom of God, which we want to build in our country: “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace,” as expressed of the mystery of the kingdom of God in the Preface of the Mass for this Solemnity.

Let us ask St. Henry and Blessed Hemming that we might be faithful to what God asks of us. Virgin Mary, Queen of Finland, St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, pray for us.

+ Bishop Raimo

The Pope’s Prayer Intentions for 2024

For the gift of diversity in the Church
We pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community and to discover the richness of different traditions and rituals in the Catholic Church.

Angelus on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2023

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