Welcome to the Bishop's Appeal!
“… Set the World on Fire”
With this exhortation, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits sent forth his followers on mission, often going to foreign lands. It is an interesting image – setting the world on fire, especially in a world like ours today with so many “flames” and “burning” with so many needs.
The Christian tradition often uses fire in association with the desire for faith and passion for the Gospel. Thus, at that first Pentecost, when the first followers of Christ gathered, tongues of fire came upon them and drew them together in community and mission in service to others.
St. Ignatius and his companions instilled a spiritual tradition that is orientated toward mission. At our Baptism, we were charged with this mission to follow Jesus in service of others. In acceptance of our Confirmation in the Faith, we are instilled with the fire of the Holy Spirit for service to the Gospel and to the world.
Few are able to actually and physically go out on mission to exotic and faraway places around the globe. Most are inspired by these flames of faith to find our mission in prayer and in local service to the community. One way to serve in mission is often at the local parish and diocesan level here in the Church of the East Bay. For most of us, our experience of Church is at our parish. The Church is, however, much more than that, as St. Ignatius knew when he commissioned his companions to serve across the globe with those famous words. We are all called in mission to serve the Church and its people through our parish, our diocese and universally.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal in the Diocese of Oakland is but one way to serve our fellow parishioners and the broader community as we “set the world on fire.”