We, the People of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, are called by the Father through baptism to be the new People of God. United in faith and relying on the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, we have access to the redeeming love of Jesus, the Christ, and are called to share in his mission to proclaim the Reign of God in Word, Sacrament and Service.
We, the Diocese of Rockford, are a community of Catholic believers in 11 Northern Illinois counties. Blessed with great cultural and ethnic diversity and representing a wide range of social and economic backgrounds, we share a bond of faith in Jesus Christ.
We are called in baptism through the Church to be light and salt to a world in need of hope. We are commissioned by Jesus to go out and bear fruit in his name that all may have life and have it in abundance.
We are a pilgrim people who together are constantly drawn to conversion of heart and the transformation of human structures. Thus, our lives become a social, intellectual, moral and spiritual passage toward the fullness of Life: Jesus Christ, without whom religious activity becomes meaningless.
Our mission, then, is integral evangelization: to proclaim the Good News of salvation in word and deed, putting ourselves at God's service in turning human hearts, attitudes, values and structures to the Reign of God.
We affirm His Reign wherever human beings consciously strive to live the ideal of the Gospel in concert with Jesus and we commit ourselves to seeking the fullness of His Reign.
As an evangelizing people set on God's Reign, we affirm the primary values of justice, freedom and truth as we work to enjoy the fruits of the Spirit; love, joy and peace.
Set as we are, on a journey of faith as the people of the Diocese of Rockford, we take upon ourselves the Gospel call to ever simplify our lives and structures so that Jesus the Lord is always visible and central to our vision.
In an age and place where the gift of individuality often grows into the curse of individualism, leaving people uprooted, we affirm the special grace of small intentional communities, where the Christian life can be lived on a deep level of faith-sharing, prayer and commitment to action.
We are a sacramental people who proclaim and bear witness to the truth that God's grace permeates all of life, human and divine, and we work to draw all Creation to God's Reign.
We are a consecrated people who, united with our shepherd, the Bishop of Rockford, make up a spiritual family whose faith is nourished by the sacramental life of the Church, especially, the Eucharist. Our pilgrim journey begins in the human family where the love of God is first revealed. Growing in grace, we come to realize that our lives and our destiny are also rooted in the larger families of parish, diocese, Universal Church and, indeed, the whole community.
As the Diocesan Church, we participate in the mission of the Universal Church, Christ's own mission: "Christ was sent by the Father 'to bring good news to the poor...to heal the contrite heart'(Lk. 4:18), 'to seek and to save what was lost'(Lk.19:10)" [Documents of Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, #8].
March 25, 1988