Founder’s Christmas Message: Clearing Hearts for Our Lord

In this season of Advent, we hear from Isaiah a call to prepare and make straight the path for our Lord. This is not a call to clear space for the Lord to quickly pass by us en route to another destination.

I believe it is a call to clear a path to our heart for Jesus.

As I reflect with much gratitude, faith, and emotion on this 30th Anniversary of Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), I think about the paths that you – our CLI family – clear…

Those who support and participate in CLI’s Called For More endeavor clear a path for priests to better reach their parishioners. You clear the cluttered paths and to-do lists of pastors who are overwhelmed and pulled away from their ultimate goal of caring for their flock. You clear a path for priests to shepherd with health, holiness, and happiness.

Those who support and participate in Next Generation Parish clear the path for a parish to create a plan and dream up a vision based on the right data and priorities. You clear a path for lay leaders in the pews to stand up, come forward, and offer their gifts to their parish.

Those who support and have taken our Disciple Maker Index survey clear the clouds away from an honest view of our Church and our spiritual journeys. Who we are, where we need to go, and where we must do better become clear. It becomes clear what our fellow Catholics are seeking to help know Jesus better and share His love with others.

Most importantly, when you give to CLI, in so many ways, your generosity clears a path for others who don’t yet know Jesus to welcome him in. What greater gift can we give to the world than to lift the valleys and level the hills so that Jesus can visit more hearts and souls?

I pray that you and your loved ones have a holy holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and New Year filled with our Lord’s love for you!

Grateful for you,

p.s. As I do each Christmas, I invite you to watch “Christmas Every Sunday.” It is amazing that even many years later, this message is still my dream… I truly think we are getting closer each day thanks to all of you!

In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD!

Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!

Every valley shall be lifted up,

every mountain and hill made low…

Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed.

by Tim Flanagan

December 23, 2021

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