Dear People of God of the Diocese of Baton Rouge,

The upcoming annual Continuing Formation days for our priests are Jan. 14-17. These days represent an important occasion for our priests’ renewal and growth in intellectual and spiritual formation, emotional maturity and physical well-being. Since these days are offered once a year and is a commitment by the diocese for their on-going formation, participation by our active priests is mandatory. 

With the guidance of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and Priests’ Continuing Formation Committee, the site secured this year for these days is in Metairie, and our parish priests will not be commuting. Their temporary absence will affect certain regular pastoral ministries. In particular, the schedule of weekday Masses and possible times for funeral Masses may be impacted and adjusted in your parish to meet needs during these Annual Formation days. While this is a sacrifice, I consider this sacrifice worth making. Deacons are able to provide needed funeral rites, namely the vigil wake, funeral without Mass and rite of committal. If the local parish staff is unable to secure a deacon for this special funeral need, the parish staff may call the Office of the Vicar General at 225-387-0561 for further assistance. 

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Thank you for understanding and supporting our priests with their ongoing formation renewal for ministry. I ask that you pray for our priests and our diocese during these days. I appreciate your affirmation and encouragement of our priests who give their lives for our diocese. May God be generous in leading us into the future with hope.