In Bishop’s Words…

An Epiphany on the Feast of the Epiphany

Recently, I was touched by some powerful words of Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the Diocese of Camden. Reflecting on the Feast of the Epiphany, he made a beautiful correlation to Catholic Leadership Institute’s Disciple Maker Index.

Reaching 2,109 parishes across 51 dioceses and including 347,875 respondents, this tool has been a gift to shedding light upon parish strengths and opportunities and illuminating the path forward.

So too, Bishop Sullivan and the leaders and philanthropists he mentions who care so deeply for our faith, are gifts and guides on the journey into the future of our Church.

That is the spirit of what I want to share with you today – I invite you to read the ways in which Bishop Sullivan relates this feast to the wisdom, generosity, and direction the Disciple Maker Index provides.

In the Words of Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan

As the landscape of the Church continues to be challenged, transformed, and adapted, Catholic Leadership Institute’s Disciple Maker Index survey continues to be a compass for parishes, dioceses, and our apostolate as we participate in, learn from, and inspire positive change through the voices and feedback of fellow Catholics nationwide.

The Diocese of Camden desires to bring this tool to their parishes. As we pray for the discernment of philanthropists to support this endeavor for them, I share with you some beautiful words of Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan:

While reflecting on the Feast of the Epiphany this week, the themes of wisdom, revelation, and generosity stood out to me. This feast reminds us that generosity is not optional; it’s a call, a passion, and part of our faith…

In our parishes, we have a great need to plan for the future. Planning requires knowledge. The questions in the Disciple Maker Index capture that wisdom we are seeking. The Wise Men followed the star to find Jesus. We need that guidance as well, and we need to know where the members of our diocese are in their spiritual journeys, in their beliefs, and in relation to their parish. The 75 questions within the Disciple Maker Index will shed light on those topics and help us create a path forward.

Within the Disciple Maker Index, there will be revelations in the data that will surprise us and challenge us. With Catholic Leadership Institute’s help, we can make a plan to build on what is working and to do better where we must improve. We will be equipped with the knowledge to say “no” to opportunities that do not address what is most important and the ability to say “yes” wholeheartedly to what will bring more people closer to Jesus Christ.

Generosity will be the catalyst to bring the Disciple Maker Index to parishes who are determined to do better, to spread the Gospel more fully, and to bring more people to know Christ more fully. The opportunity to equip parishes with this survey and its reports, outcomes, and insights is a gift that will create both immediate and resounding impact. The Magi shared gifts with our Lord, and philanthropy makes it possible for more Catholics to share their own gifts within our parishes.

The Feast of the Epiphany also celebrates the Baptism of our Lord. I believe that the Disciple Maker Index will ultimately allow more Catholics to live our own Baptismal call of discipleship, holiness, and evangelization…


Sincerely in Christ,
𝓓𝓮𝓷𝓷𝓲𝓼 𝓙. 𝓢𝓾𝓵𝓵𝓲𝓿𝓪𝓷
Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan, D.D.
Bishop of Camden


With gratitude for the gifts of leaders, philanthropists, and faithful Catholics, let us hold in our prayers courageous Catholics, bold bishops, and generous givers. May we appreciate, steward, and value their many gifts and graces – the next generation is depending on them!

by Chad Peddicord

Feb 03, 2022

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