“Do You Love Me?”

Father’s Article for May 1st, 2022

Do you love Me?

Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” three times before He commissioned Peter to tend His sheep (Jn 21:15-19). It’s a simple question, but not an easy one to answer. Love costs. Love means commitment. Love means giving. When we love our spouses, this means giving out of ourselves for the good of the other. Marriage is a sacrament of service. It’s a sacrament that focuses on giving, rather than getting. Compared to what the world sees as marriage, that thought is different. But this is an expression of the nature of love. True love seeks the good of others.

Jesus asks us the same question that He asked Peter; “Do you love Me?” There is one thing that is different about this question, compared to when Jesus asks anyone else. No other person can love us the way Jesus has already loved us. Jesus died on the cross for us. This service to us alone deserves a response. Yet He wants this response from our hearts freely given. Not only did Jesus already love us in the once and for all sacrifice, but He continues to love us in the many gifts He gives us daily. He never fails in His love for us. Even more so, Jesus does not ask of service to himself. He wants us to respond so that others may be served. He does not ask for Himself. Jesus is not being selfish. He wants His followers to extend His mercy towards others that they too may know of God’s love for them.

When you love someone, you become concerned about what matters to them. Jesus is concerned for others. So Jesus wants us to help Him save souls and to serve them. This is the true Easter response. The Diocese of Rockford has asked us to help them serve others, in their call to serve others. This is our call as well. We are part of the Diocese of Rockford. For the 2022 Diocesan appeal, we help our diocese to help others.

You can help many ways, when you give to the yearly appeal for the Diocese of Rockford. It helps the diocese to train priests and support them in their active ministries. It supports retired priests and helps them keep active in whatever way they can. Your generosity helps support and form young couples to have a good and healthy marriage. It helps us train our teachers in our education programs within the parish and at Aquin. Your donation helps our deacons to answer the call to serving everybody in the community. Because of your donation, priests and deacons can say yes to loving God and neighbor. Donations have helped Catholic Charities to aid 28,756 individuals. Giving to this appeal has a very direct affect in may people’s lives.

This year, our Bishop has continued to help us by cutting out some more of the budget at the Diocesan level. He has passed those savings on to us. This year, the Diocese of Rockford has asked St. Joseph Church to raise $17,056 for the good of the people. St Mary’s Church is asked to come up with $13,103. Since the Diocese is on a budget, any money collected over this time will come back to each parish respectively.

I hope we can all do our part in responding to the call of Jesus within our means. I am always amazed of how much Jesus has done for me. Personally, I can only hope that I can do enough for Him. However, He does not just love me alone. He does not ask for Himself. I hate to think of those who are left out. “Yes Lord, You know everything, and You know that I love You.”

Father Barr

Diocesan Appeal 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jesus asks Peter a question three times in the Gospel of John that He asks each of us: “Do you love me?”

Most of us, like Peter, would say, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And just as He did with Peter, Jesus recognizes the limitations of our love, calls us all to His fold as disciples, and asks us to tend to one another – His sheep.

Our love for God grows our love for others. The more love we have for Him, the more our love motivates us to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Christ – the more we can tend to one another.

Your contribution to the 2022 Diocesan Appeal helps tend to the many needs of our Church. The funds from this appeal support our parishes, our priests, and ministries of the Diocese of Rockford that in turn tend to the faithful and ensure that young and old continue to be nurtured in the sacraments and educated in the faith.

Your gift to the 2022 Diocesan Appeal can also be your response to God’s call to care for others. Along with addressing the spiritual needs of its flock, the Church is committed to caring for families, children, and the elderly who are challenged in meeting basic needs. Those struggling to find food, clothing, and shelter; women afraid of unplanned pregnancies; refugees searching for a place to call home; the elderly who wonder if they are alone – our love for God compels us to respond to all of these, in love.

We are called as Catholics to treat all with dignity and respect, and to tend to all God’s creation in love and true service. May you give generously to the 2022 Diocesan Appeal, as we all work together to love the Lord, and our neighbor. And, may our love and service inspire others to do the same.

I am grateful for you and whatever you are able to give. Be assured of my continued prayers for you and your family.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Most Reverend Bishop David J. Malloy
Bishop of Rockford

For More Info, Visit rockforddiocese.org;