A Letter From Bishop Vetter

Greetings to you!

I have been your bishop now for nearly 18 months, and I wasn’t expecting that time to be spent so much in lockdown because of the pandemic.  But God has not been in lockdown.  He’s been very active in the hearts of the people of the Diocese of Helena.  One very concrete way that He has been active in our diocese is that when I arrived here on November 20, 2019, we had five seminarians.  In 2020, we added 3 more men to that number, and I am grateful to announce that we are in the process now of accepting our 16th seminarian for this fall.  What a beautiful gift!

We all want to thank and support these fine men for their courageous yes and openness to the call to be a priest. So, I write to you to ask two things:  First, you’ll see in this mailing, a prayer card of St. Joseph.  In this Year of St. Joseph, I ask each of you, and your family, to please pray daily the prayer on this card for vocations to the priesthood.  Our prayers absolutely do make a difference.

Second, with 16 seminarians, we face a new challenge. It will cost approximately $750,000 for their formation and education just for one year. A generous couple has committed $240,000 a year as a matching gift to help us reach our goal.  I am so grateful this couple have helped get us well on our way. You will notice an envelope in this mailing in which I am asking each of you to financially support the formation of our future priests.  I ask that this gift be over and above what you give for your parish and diocesan support.  No gift is too small.  Please prayerfully consider giving something.

I’m pleased to announce that we are beginning to fill my calendar for the fall to start spending some substantial time in each deanery again.  Before the pandemic hit, I would spend a week in Helena and then visit a deanery.  When the pandemic hit, we had to stop these visits. I’m very much looking forward to being with you again and to meet you if I have not been able to yet.  I am so grateful for your prayers.  Please know of mine for you each day.  I love it here in Helena!  St. Joseph, please pray for us.

In Christ, I am

Most Reverend Austin A. Vetter
Bishop of Helena
September 3, 2021

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