It was a rarity in Catholic churches across Rochester Sunday when a letter was read from pulpits to parishioners from Bishop Matthew Clark.
Clark is calling for a "Time of Renewal" asking all members of the Rochester Diocese to renew their faith in 2008. The letter and campaign comes in response to the merging, sale and closure of several churches in the Greater Rochester area over the last few years.
"These past few years have been hard on everyone. A changing economy and shifting demographics have altered our parishes dramatically," says Bishop Clark in the letter.
The renewal campaign will start in Lent and marks the 140th anniversary of the Rochester Diocese. It will feature blessings of bibles, an inspirational retreat on DVD for parishioners and conclude with a large-scale public gathering.