Since the time of Jesus, the model of establishing and building the Church has been about relationships. Jesus called twelve, and sent them. Jesus entered into many relationships, through encounter, dialogue, healing, forgiveness and preaching the Kingdom of Heaven.

Our life as disciples of Jesus is the same. We are called into relationship with others; meaningful, genuine relationships through which we give witness to the faith and lead others to come to know Jesus.

This week has been full once again of many opportunities to meet others, journey with them, enter into meaningful conversation, and prayerfully discern and discover where God is present, and how the Holy Spirit is leading us as Church today.

I pray at the beginning of each day to be a witness to each person I encounter that day. I pray to know where the Holy Spirit is leading me in each moment. I ask at the end of the day for Jesus to bless each person and effort of that day that good fruit may be the end result.

In these days, there are many meetings, and plenty of new faces, and demands for many decisions. On Tuesday, I travelled to Mt. Angel in Oregon for two days of meetings, and an opportunity to pray and visit with some of our Seattle seminarians. During Wednesday morning’s Mass with both the seminary and monastic community, eight men from the seminary received Candidacy, which is a formal moment in which the Church recognizes their serious intention to be formed for Holy Orders.

Congratulations to Val Park, the seminarian from Seattle who was one of those eight men!

The bishops and vocations directors from this region gathered with the seminary rector and formation staff to discuss the present needs of the seminary and discuss some of the details of the formation program. It also provided a great opportunity for fraternity, as well as for us to support one another in our various efforts to serve the Church.

I want to assure this readership of the fine seminary formation programs all of our seminarians receive!

Thursday was another day of meetings with a group of bishops and superiors of men and women religious communities that serve in this region. The day provided a great opportunity to build strong bonds between these important leaders of our church to pray together and discuss some of the current challenges we face.

Today, after a morning of meetings, I enjoyed celebrating Mass for the O’Dea Catholic High School football team. It is quite enjoyable to spend time with these fine young men, and to preach the Gospel, making correlations between their love for the sport of football and the more important work of living in right relationship with God and neighbor, according to God’s commandments. I found them to be a very attentive, energetic group! Good luck in tonight’s game, gentlemen!

My friends, try to find Christ in every person you meet. Equally important, try to love Christ in each person as well.