Pastoral Letter from Bishop Hirschfeld

February 2, 2017
Several clergy have shared with me a modest but noticeable increase in attendance at our churches since last November’s election.  If social commentators are correct, it may be that the painful and stark divisions within our culture are invitations for souls to seek community, connection, mutual support and healing in our parish churches. As it happens, I am writing this in a monastery where the guesthouse is full to capacity and includes persons of different generations (including young adults!), races, and genders.  Some of the monks have wondered if places like this will become more and more a refuge from a society pulling apart at the seams.  If so, monastic life will be brought to its original function in society, as we remember that the Saints Benedict and Scholastica founded their orders partly in response to the chaos that ensued during the fall of the Roman Empire. …