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Bishop Steven Raica

Dear Friends Throughout the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama

WELCOME to the new and updated One Voice magazine! I am very excited and enthusiastic about this new, innovative path undertaken by our diocesan communications team. Going forward, we will utilize a wide range of media platforms to convey news and events throughout our diocese. More importantly, One Voice will highlight significant stories of faith and witness happening right here. As I visit our parishes, I am more and more convinced that amazing faith stories occur right here. How inspiring and edifying these can be for one’s faith journey!

Moreover, One Voice is already familiar to Catholics in central and northern Alabama. For many years, it conveyed the official news of the diocese and beyond as well as highlights of important events that occurred in our parishes, schools, and institutions. For that reason, this update to One Voice is a strategic attempt to offer a fresh updated look and new direction for this means of communication. 

By transitioning from a weekly newspaper to a bi-monthly magazine (six times a year) format, our attempt is to chronicle inspiring faith stories already occurring here in our diocese. It will also relate fascinating articles of spirituality and Catholic culture. I get the distinct sense that we Catholics are rightfully proud of our faith heritage here in Alabama. 

While the newspaper reached some of our homes, it never was able to reach every Catholic household. With a new magazine format, it is our goal to reach every registered Catholic household. No annual subscription is required. As you read or peruse each issue, you may wish to share the magazine or an interesting article with others. In that way, you will become an ambassador of evangelization, getting the word out about what Christ is accomplishing among us in central and northern Alabama.  

Sometimes the question is asked, “What about events that occur between the publications of the magazine?” These will be captured through a bi-weekly (every two weeks) electronic newsletter sent directly to your e-mail address or made available through the diocesan website and other social media platforms. In this way, we have the potential to reach a wider audience with stirring messages of faith and hope demonstrating that Christ is truly present among us.

It is my understanding that the original title of One Voice came from a student during an unsettled moment in Alabama’s history to express the ardent desire for unity and solidarity among people of faith. As I reflected on whether the name should change and studied a number of suggestions presented to me, I ran across this verse in Scripture during my prayer time one afternoon: “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 15:5-6) For me, it was a sign that the name One Voice should remain. Honestly, I’m glad it did! It captures so much of what our mission is. All our efforts at evangelization, that is, to respect one another, to share our faith in innovative ways, and to glorify and praise God, must be the result of our desire to love each other as God loved us. The title One Voice remains as a time-honored recognition of the past, a continued work to be accomplished in the present, and always a look forward toward a noble goal: “to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

During this past year, it has become abundantly clear to me that our primary goals remain: evangelization, vocations, Hispanic ministry, youth and young adult ministry, Catholic schools, and faith formation. These currently have a focused emphasis. Other essential ministries and services are equally important and will be highlighted at various intervals. For me, the path forward is to make our unity in Christ real and alive. For we are one people with one faith, one hope, one love, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the very center of everything we do and who is our common destiny.

Through our endeavors, I pray that the new format of One Voice may inspire harmony among all people and parishes, schools, and institutions of our diocese. May our voices as Catholics be united in giving glory, honor, and praise to God!

“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 15:5-6)