His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako addressed a letter to the clergy and faithful of the Chaldean Church in every place on the first anniversary of his inauguration Patriarch of the Chaldean Church on March 6. Here is Patriarch Sako’s message:
I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to all those who have offered congratulations on the first anniversary of my inauguration Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.
A year has passed, and a year began, I feel more the heaviness of the inheritance and the responsibility on my shoulders. My job doesn’t look easy as imagined by some people. Our country still lacks peace and stability, and our people still suffer and impoverish and emigrate, and our Church still in many places has problems and is stumbling: A shortage of priests, monks and nuns, and a lack of competencies and satisfactions, and weakness in our pastoral work, slow in the process of updating and renovation. It is not enough to be a Patriarch or Bishop to make miracles, as miracles are made by God and the support of all.
On this occasion, as we’ve started the season of Lent, I can only invite the Chaldean clergy everywhere: Bishops, priests, monks and nuns to introspection in solitude, prayer and listening to the Word of God, and deepen our calling and our mission, to be the perspective of the presence of God and His Mercy.
The present time requires of us that we renew our commitment to serve all who are given to our pastoral care without exception, and if we have some talents and competencies, they are for service and not to feel superiority and differentiation. Let us imitate Christ’s humility and the emptiness of Himself in order for Him to radiate in us, so our parishioners would feel the warmth of our affection and our service. Pope Francis on Sunday, 3 March, asked us to pray to God to send priests, monks and nuns who are free from vanity and love of power and money!
In order for us to meet current challenges with honesty and courage, we need deep spirituality and enlightened, open, and inclusive thought, wisdom and enthusiasm to attach to each other as a team having an “issue” and mission. Let us walk side by side, and not race to stand at the front!
I lived the past year with my assistants, whom I thank a lot, times that were overshadowed by some clouds, but we also tested times of joy stemming from small signs of hope but powerful.
Naturally, my energy and my service weaken sometimes, but I emphasize my intention to move forward in my service with dedication, and to apply my program of “Authenticity, Unity and Renewal” with great attention and hope. It is true that our road is long and hard, but with the Holy Spirit, and with your prayer, patience, support and cooperation we can overcome barriers and achieve much.
Blessings of the Lord be upon you always and forever,
Louis Raphael I Sako
Baghdad, 6 March 2014
This article was taken from Chaldean News