Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

1404 East 9th Street | Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Bishop Perez’s message welcoming Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World”

It is with great joy that we welcome the Holy Father’s new Apostolic Exhortation, “Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World.”  This clear and contemporary exhortation provides practical steps which help to illuminate our path to holiness, which is at its core, the Holy Father says, experiencing the mysteries of life in union with Christ.

Pope Francis writes that he wants us “to be saints and not settle for a bland and mediocre existence.” He reminds us of the words from the Scripture passage of 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.” His goal in writing this exhortation is to “repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”

The Holy Father reminds us that anyone can be holy, “To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or religious…we are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.”

He goes on to explain that that it is through small gestures that our call to holiness will grow and he provides practical examples that relate to our everyday life.  He cites, for example, refraining from gossip as a step forward in holiness.

As we recall our recent experience of Easter joy, I recommend that we take the time to strengthen our baptismal call to holiness by reading and reflecting on this new exhortation from Pope Francis, which is for us a useful, real-world call to holiness.  “Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness,” the Pope says.  May this wonderful resource he has given us help strengthen our love of God and each other.

Read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World” HERE.

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