Today is the 3rd day of March—yes, this year IS moving rapidly, I’ve noticed that the older I get, the faster time flies. True enough, but that’s not my point today.
March 3rd is significant for us; it’s our birthday! March 3, 1868, the Diocese of La Crosse was born and in two years, 2018, we will be celebrating our 150th birthday, or our Sesquicentennial.
Now, 1868 was a banner year for all sorts of things: the first refrigerator car was invented in Detroit; the first US parade with floats was the Mardi-Gras in Mobile, Alabama; the stapler was patented in England; the “Type-writer” was patented; and so special and apropos, the song “Happy Birthday to You” was written (and still receives royalties for its copyright).
I just did a bit of date checking on Google and I found all sorts of interesting little facts that might be fun for a Diocese of La Crosse game of Trivial Pursuit; but I would imagine that so many of you would be able to rummage through your attics and basements and find all sorts of major facts, photos, and fun trivia that you can associate with your life in the Diocese of La Crosse. Now, we’re not looking for memorabilia from 1868 (only). What we are particularly interested in is your more recent memory items, especially things that have happened in the last twenty-five years. That, brothers and sisters, makes you a historian and a story-teller. You possess knowledge that we need to secure and pass on to the next generation of Catholics, Wisconsinites, and Americans throughout our nineteen counties and among the thousands of people in western and north central Wisconsin. We Build on a Tradition of Faith!
Get out your photo albums, your “baby-books,” your parish albums and school yearbooks. You’ll be amazed at how much history you possess and how much fun it will be to start talking about and sharing your experiences as members of our beloved Diocese. God has blessed us. One great way to praise and thank God will be to share His graces and tell His story through our lives—the lives of our families—and the life of our family of Faith.
March 3, 1868 to March 3, 2018—a Sesquicentennial of Faith in action! I hope you’ll share as much as you can as we prepare for local and diocesan celebrations marking this landmark in our history. Watch for commemorative books and events that capture and share our past and set us free to move into our future. While looking back, we’re plugging in to the many electronic and interactive ways to discover the many treasures that make up the Diocese of La Crosse.
Thanks be to God for the time He has given us and the ways He has allowed us to use His gifts, celebrate amazing talents, and Build on a Tradition of Faith!