Our regular readers might have noticed that we added the “Rosary for the Bishop” logo to our site. If you click on it, you will be led to the website Rosary for the Bishop. It provides a program which allows you to sign up for the prayer for the sake of a particular bishop. The meaning of the whole campaign is, as Bishop Morlino put it:
“We bishops rely each and every blessed day on the prayers of the good and holy people of our diocese and of all those who have gone before us. We have no better intercessor than our Blessed Mother, the Mother of all the Apostles, the Mother of the Church. It gives me great serenity to know that so many women and men are turning to Mary, asking her special care and intercession for the bishops. As the Lord blesses the bishops through the intercession of Mary, may every person who takes part in the Rosary for the Bishop project also be blessed.”
On this occasion, we would like to ask you to pray for Bishop Michael Evans of the Diocese of East Anglia, who has been diagnosed with cancer. His own statement is reproduced below, your spiritual help will be greatly appreciated, and many thanks from us as well!
WAITING IN JOYFUL HOPE…
Health Statement to the Diocese from Bishop Michael
My dear friends,
Over the last five and more years, since my diagnosis with advanced prostrate cancer, I have managed to cope with my developing illness, its ongoing treatment, the general decline in my health, and generally – I think – continued my ministry as best I can.
We have moved forward and outward together as a diocese, although not all of you may be have been happy with the directions we have taken. I am sorry for any ways I have failed in my ministry during those years. There remain a number of difficulties on my desk which will need to be handled by others.
In the last few weeks, the cancer has rather quickly taken control. My oncology and palliative care consultants informed me openly and honestly just before Christmas that I now probably have only weeks to live, and I am as prepared for that as I can be, accepting it with faith as a gift of God’s grace.
I have received wonderful care from Dr Adrian Harnett and everyone at the Colney Centre at the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital, and the local surgery, and I would like to thank them for their dedication which continues. My thanks also to so many people in our team at the White House and across our diocese.
Rather than resign, I would like to continue among you as your bishop and the father of our diocesan family until this stage of my life ends. I do not know how long that will be. I am most grateful for the ways you have cared for and so prayerfully supported me in recent years. You remain very much in my thoughts and care. As I am sure you understand, I am able to do very little, and will need to rely on others. Please can I ask you to limit any expressions of care to prayer for now, rather than anything else to which I cannot respond.
As I live now under the shadow of death, my prayer is very much that of St Paul that I may know something of the power of Christ’s resurrection and a share in his sufferings, trusting that the Lord is with me. I pray that even now I can joyfully witness something of the good news we are all called to proclaim.
With my warmest good wishes, my prayers and my love as always
Yours in Christ
Rt Rev Michael Evans