"Last week in Baltimore, Cardinal Dolan put it like this: 'we cannot engage culture unless we allow him to first engage us.'
"And, if we want the New Evangelization to take root, it starts on our knees with the conversion of our own hearts," Bishop Conley stated.
The bishop urged his diocese's priests to contact him whenever they need to and to pray for him, as he will pray for them always.
"You were made for greatness. We are all made for greatness. And your bishop wants nothing more from you than sanctity. The Church needs holy priests now more than ever," he said, encouraging priests and bishops to make their priesthood "characterized by joy."
"Our sufferings can transform our hearts into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They can allow us to love as Christ loves," he said.
He thanked vowed religious men and women for their witness to Jesus and he called seminarians "a supreme blessing to the diocese."
He also had a message for the laity.
"Your greatest vocation is to holiness," he said. "Your holiness can transform the world."
Bishop Conley, 57, was made auxiliary bishop of Denver in 2008. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived briefly in Colorado before moving to Kansas as a child. He was raised Presbyterian and converted to Catholicism in part because of his experiences as a student at the University of Kansas Integrated Humanities Program in the 1970s. He was ordained a priest in 1985 for the Diocese of Wichita.
There are over 96,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Lincoln, out of a total population of 588,000. The diocese has 150 diocesan priests, 141 religious sisters, and 44 seminarians. There are 134 parishes in the diocese and over 7,600 primary and secondary students in 27 Catholic elementary schools and six Catholic high schools.
The diocese is the home of a diocesan seminary and the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a priestly society dedicated to the celebration of the Tridentine Latin Mass.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.