How the Holy Spirit works in Finland

I was very impressed with the article about Finland’s new bishop, “A shepherd at the end of the world,” in the Dec. 29 issue of Angelus. In fact, it’s important to realize that Father Raimo Goyarrola Belda (now Bishop) has been in Finland for 17 years. What he has accomplished, by the grace of God, is remarkable.

What struck me most is the ecumenical cooperation among Christian churches in this country of few Christians. Whether Orthodox, Lutheran, Catholic or other denominations, the Christians there share their churches so that Mass can be said “at least once a month in 25 cities where there’s no Catholic parish.”

Their “collections are very small because the people don’t have money.” Yet the Church in Finland has grown from 7-8,000 Catholics (17 years ago) to 17-18,000 today.

No doubt, Bishop Raimo Goyarrola’s enthusiasm for the New Evangelization, his love for the Finns, and his hard work had something to do with that, but it’s obvious also that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in Finland.

Thank you for this beautiful story that captures how the energy of the Church is spreading in the world today.

Marilyn Boussaid, St. James Church, Redondo Beach

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