It is hard to believe, but in the next week I will celebrate the sixth month anniversary of my Ordination and Installation as the Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse.  In the ensuing months, I have made pastoral visits to parish communities a priority. I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending time in celebration and fellowship with faithful across the diocese from Boonville to Bainbridge, Oswego to Binghamton, and points in between. And though every one of these communities is unique, I have heard the same thing in every one of them: “I love reading your column in the Catholic Sun!”

I must admit that, when I wrote my first “Carrying the light of Christ” column back in August, I did not anticipate my words in our diocesan newspaper becoming such fan favorites. But I am glad to know that I am reaching the members of this diocesan flock, and that they are connecting and responding in turn. In a diocese as large as ours, my Catholic Sun column is one important way I am able to talk to and accompany the faithful entrusted to my care.

February is Catholic Press Month, a time set aside each year to recognize the Catholic press’ unique and essential role in sharing the truths of our faith and the stories of those who live it, including those right in your own parish. For more than 125 years, since the very first issue in 1892, the Catholic Sun has done just that, serving its readers with Catholic news, views, and teachings.

As you would expect, the Catholic Sun depends on parish subscriptions to continue its critical mission. That’s why the Sun team will mark this Catholic Press Month with a subscription campaign aimed at ensuring its work can continue for another 125 years.

The five-week campaign will be multi-pronged, with efforts in parishes, on Sun platforms, and via diocesan social media.

The in-parish effort will include providing subscription envelopes to each parish, which can be filled out by parishioners and returned with payment via the collection basket. The Sun team will also provide materials and resources to help each parish promote the campaign.

In his homily during my ordination, Cardinal Dolan made a correlation to an image that is a particular favorite of mine: the shepherd’s staff as a lantern. “From now on you carry a lantern, the light of Christ. You will bring us that light of Christ,” he said. This is where the name of my weekly Sun column comes from. I think this image is a fitting companion to the vision put forth by the founders of the Catholic Sun in the very first edition: “Hence it is that the Catholic Sun in its regular weekly rotation will give an unclouded light to all, and, if occasion demands, heat to some.”

Thank you in advance for your efforts to help the Catholic Sun continue to share the Good News and the light of Christ with all our brothers and sisters. I hope, like me, you will be an avid supporter and reader of our diocesan newspaper.

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