In 1853, the Venerable Frederic Baraga wrote his first pastoral letter as bishop of what is now the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.
That letter was the focus of today’s Spring Study Day held by the diocese at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. Clergy and congregation members from around the U.P. gathered to hear the lessons contained within the document.
“He discusses our five duties towards God,” said Father Corey Litzner of the Baraga County Catholic parishes. “The first is faith, the second is adoration or prayer, the third is respect, or what we would call reverence today, the fourth is obedience, first of all to God, and then the final thing is love.”
Today’s study topic was inspired by the recent veneration of Bishop Baraga and the construction of a chapel dedicated to him in the cathedral. Strengthening of faith was an important message heard by those in attendance.
“His one great desire was for people to serve the Lord better,” Litzner added. “He doesn’t talk much about himself. He’s just kind of like, ‘O.K., I’m your new bishop, let’s get over that,’ he said, ‘now this is your duty.’ It shows you his simplicity and his purity of soul, like it’s not all about him. It’s all about our Lord Jesus and serving Him and becoming holy.”
Study Day was followed by the Chrism Mass, in which oils used for ordinations, baptisms, and anointing of the sick were blessed and distributed to all of the U.P. parishes.