‘Renewing Our Lives in the Holy Spirit’
A Mission talk by Bishop Sam Jacobs
By Jennifer Miller
SOUTH BEND — “Knowing OF the Holy Spirit is different than knowing the Holy Spirit.” Bishop Sam Jacobs explains. May 16 and 17, Bishop Jacobs will offer a mission at St. Jude Parish to help know “the fullness in the understanding of the Trinity; a renewed effort of the New Evangelization.” Called “The Holy Spirit and the New Evangelization”, his two-day talk will focus on being missionaries with the gift from Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, “in the days following Pentecost.”
Bishop Sam Jacobs is currently the bishop emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. He was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, but raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He studied at Immaculata Seminary and at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Jacobs served throughout Louisiana as pastor, chaplain, and associate pastor of several parishes in the Diocese of Lafayette, Alexandria and the Diocese of Lake Charles. Bishop Jacobs has also served as chairman of the National Service Committee for the Charismatic Renewal. Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he was chairman of the Committee for Evangelization and a member of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. He currently offers numerous missions and talks throughout the country, following Pope John Paul II’s calling for a new evangelization, “not new in content but in how. New in energy, zeal, using modern media, a renewed way of getting excited.”
As Pope Francis has also asked for this renewal with a focus on “three words- don’t forget them: evangelical spirit, ecclesial spirit and missionary spirit. Let us ask the Lord always to direct our minds and hearts to him, as living stones of the Church, so that all we do, our whole Christian life, may be a luminous witness to his mercy and love.” Bishop Jacobs understands this as an “encounter with Jesus Christ (evangelical), being rooted in the Church (ecclesial) and living the new evangelization (missionary).”
Bishop Jacobs believes this knowing, that is, actually having a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, is key. “As Paul at Ephesus heard from the apostles, we don’t know of the Holy Spirit. The Father wants to give to all those who ask (this gift), as Jesus said in the Gospel. Through the water in baptism, prayer, the Holy Spirit touches them. We continue to know him through prayer in fresh new ways.”
He suggests that families help their children to know the Holy Spirit by invoking the Holy Spirit through spontaneous prayer throughout their days. “They are the first teachers of children. If the children are hurt, they go to the doctor and also the parents lay hands on and pray. Kids remember and say, “Mama, pray over me.” It can be as short as “Let us pray for wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Or “Let us pray that God will impact for one another, when speaking to their spouse.” He suggests infusing our everyday language with an awareness and openness to the Holy Spirit, third person of the Trinity.
Dave and Jan Torma, parishioners of St. Jude, are especially looking forward to this mission. They found Bishop Jacobs “a gifted teacher and an insightful, inspirational communicator. He is very practical and has a way of igniting a spark within us to live open and attentive to the Holy Spirit, to take what God is doing in our lives today and share it with others. He will call us out of our comfort zones and fears to be the Church God intends us to be in the power of the Holy Spirit. He speaks from his heart to yours. His joy is contagious.”
All are welcome to the May 16 and 17 mission at St. Jude Parish. There will be an evening session on Monday and Tuesday nights beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, Bishop Sam and Father John Delaney, pastor of St. Jude, will concelebrate Mass at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided for those who attend Mass prior to the evening session.
There will also be a morning session offered on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Bishop Sam will be celebrating 8 a.m. Mass that day with St. Jude School students. Adults are also welcome. There will be a light breakfast for adults attending the morning session.