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Called to Serve, United by Faith

My Dear Friends in Christ,

I want to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to you for your prayers and support this past year as we, together, continue to build a strong and vibrant diocese. To continue this good work, I rely on your help. With this in mind, I would like to share with you four components of my vision for the Diocese.

We currently have 21 seminarians who are preparing to serve as our future priests. As some of our priests get closer to retirement, we are in need of younger priests to carry on this special ministry and service. Creating ways for men and women to be aware of and to discern God's call to religious life will be a focus moving forward. Please join me as we pray for our priests, deacons, and religious men and women in consecrated life who dedicate their lives to God's work. Especially pray for our seminarians and for all young men and women to open their hearts and minds to hear God's call to a life of service to the Lord.

Secondly, in the year 2021, the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee will mark its 50th episcopal anniversary. To begin preparing for this celebration, we will be gathering ideas from across the diocese on ways to celebrate and commemorate this momentous milestone here in West Tennessee. I am looking forward to hearing from you on ways to celebrate this joyous event.

To enhance better communications and coordination between the diocese and our parishes, I am establishing six deaneries with six Deans elected from our Pastors. The Deans will work with a specified group of parishes and will work closely with the diocesan administration to assess the needs of each parish by using "The Indicators of Vitality." These tools will emphasize Administration, Worship, Education, Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns, and our Diocesan Facilities. Everyone will hear more about this as we move forward.

Finally, we are called to make the best use of the resources and gifts God has provided through sacrificial giving. To be a good steward of these gifts, I have asked that we focus on reducing the parish/diocesan debt. It will help us become a more efficient diocese with a strong foundation.

Once again I want to thank you for all of your prayers and support and be assured of my prayers for you and your families, as we always remember "His Mercy Endures Forever." May God bless you and may our Blessed Mother Mary keep you in the mantle of her maternal love and care.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, DD.

Bishop of the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee

Apostolic Administrator