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December 12, 2018
METUCHEN -- Hundreds of worshipers filled the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi Dec. 12 for the official launch of a “Year of Awakening” for Catholics in the Diocese of Metuchen.
Bishop James F. Checchio presided at the evening liturgy, which marked the start of a yearlong intentional preparation that will lead to a consecration of the Diocese of Metuchen to Jesus through Our Lady of Guadalupe on the same date next year, in 2019.
In his homily, Bishop Checchio remarked that the presence of those in attendance was an indication for a great expectation of what God wants to do in our diocese, and what He will do, saying: "This launching of a Year of Spiritual Renewal and Awakening of Faith is a new, historic moment for our diocese. In my travels around our diocese during these past two years, I have been blessed to see so many good, faith-filled people. I am humbled by so many good and generous lay people in every parish I visit throughout our four counties. I meet so many good priests, deacons and religious, and yet, we need more – we all deep down want more. It is this desire for more that we all share – the stirrings of God’s grace – 'I am with you.'
We do not set out on a new program. We do not set out to try to implement a strategy. Rather, we are setting out to give God permission – permission to change us, to transform our hearts, to put new enthusiasm into our hearts, to set our hearts on fire! We are looking for a New Pentecost – a time when new graces will come from the hand of God to make all things new. If the hearts of all our people are newly touched by God during this year of awakening and renewal, our parishes will have new energy. We will be people on fire with the love of God, living as His faithful disciples, right here, in 2019 throughout the 90 parishes of our beautiful counties of Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren."