Bishop Conlon spends Quality Time at Parishes and Missions
Within its boundries, the Diocese of Joliet has seven counties across approximately 4,040 square miles. It has more that 650,000 Catholics, who have the choices of 120 parishes and nine missions to go to for worship and to be a part of faith communities. In other words, it is not a small entity.
Starting in September, 2011, and continuing during the months and years ahead, Bishop R. Daniel Conlon plans to visit each of the parishes and missions during weekend visits as a way to continue to get to know the diocese and the people and priests here.
Following are testimonies of his most recent visits:
"I think it's nice that he's going to see what's going on here and what our needs are" Father Vitus the pastor of Christ the Servent in Woodridge said. "There's only one way to do that. I just want him to see what our parish is like. You don't really get that when he comes for confirmation"
"I can't imangine how busy a bishop is especially Bishop Conlon," Father Howe the pastor of Immaculate Conception in Morris said. "For Bishop Conlon to take the time to visit for three days with our parish is a beautiful sign of his role as the shepherd of the Church. I often tell people I am a pastor, but the bishop is the pastor of all the parishes as the shepherd appointed by the pope, and I must assist the bishop in his work and vision"
Father Albert Heidecke, the pastor of St. Joseph's Parish in Manteno, views the bishop's visit to his parish during the November weekend as a positive sign of unity. "Because the Catholic Church is so counter-culture", Father Heidecke said. "it is important that parishioners know their shepherd is with them, just like they are with him. I think the visit helps to emphasize that and make it more real," he said. "They will draw encouragement from that, and the bishop will be encouraged. The flock is together. We're working as one."