Somos el Cuerpo de Cristo
Thoughts from Some Fellow Parishioners of Holy Spirit—April 30, 2006
Remain Anchored in Your Community
“It is important to remain as much in touch as possible with those who know you, love you and protect your vocation. If you visit people with great need and deep struggles that you can recognize in your own heart, remained anchored in your home community. Think about your community as holding a long line that girds your waist. Wherever you are, it holds that line. Thus you can be very close to people in need of your healing without losing touch with those who protect your vocation. Your community can pull you back when its members see that you are forgetting why you were sent out.
“When you feel a burgeoning need for sympathy, support, affection, and care from those to whom you are being sent, remember that there is a place where you can receive those gifts in a safe and responsible way. Do not let yourself be seduced by the dark powers that imprison those you want to set free. Keep returning to those to whom you belong and who keep you in the light. It is that light that you desire to bring into the darkness. You do not have to fear anyone as long as you remain safely anchored in your community. Then you can carry the light far and wide.”
From The Inner Voice of Love by Henry J.M. Nouwen
Examine the Clergy Culture
“The Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, much as it involved the individual acts of errant priests, was also a product of a culture, the hierarchical clergy culture, heavily shrouded in secrecy and wrapped in layers of protection from accountability of any sort.
“From the first news of this crisis in 1983, through the years of grudging admission by bishops that something was amiss, through the explosion of news in 2002 when the courts forced the release of secret documents in the Boston archdiocese, through the anguish of the meeting in Dallas in June of that same year, the formation of a National Review Board and ongoing court cases, the tenacity of the clergy culture’s grip on Catholic leadership has been the most evident characteristic of that group’s response.
“That’s why this week’s story on the sex abuse cover-up in the Philadelphia archdiocese is significant. It provides a glimpse, brief as it is, into the world of that hierarchical culture and the way it approached the sex abuse crisis. It is a significant piece of history because we have maintained, in more than 20 years of reporting on this crisis in all of its phases, that the church would not get beyond the scandal until its leaders deal with the culture that allowed abusers to float among the community, preying on its youngest and most vulnerable.”
From an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter, 4/28/06.
This past weekend a friend spoke about her faith in terms that most of us neglect to use. She spoke of her right to fully participate in the life of her community, her responsibilities to answer her own call, and her right to freely give her gifts to the Church. I was struck by how she spoke of her faith in very active terms, as something to be claimed and as participatory.
She reminded me very clearly that Easter is rebirth and that rebirth assumes then that we have a new life and that we need to get out there and live it. Easter is a gift that we have been given not to store away on a shelf as a collectible. It is a gift we are meant to do something with. This Easter season, we hear the stories of the disciples and their growing understanding that they are called to go out and bring the good news. We celebrate baptisms and remember that our own baptisms are an initiation into a living faith – a living faith full of gifts, rights and responsibilities.
From fellow parishioner Michelle Peña
“When the Church approves private revelations, she declares only that there is nothing in them contrary to faith or good morals, and that they may be read without danger or even with profit; no obligation is thereby imposed on the faithful to believe them.”
From the Catholic Encyclopedia at: www.newadvent.org/cathen/13005a.htm
The revelations recounted by Bernadette, the children of Fatima, Margaret Mary Alacoque, and yes, Faustina, are examples of such private revelations. Even though many people’s spiritual lives have been enriched by absorbing the ideas in the accounts of these revelations and by following devotional practices based on these accounts, no Catholic is obliged to accept the validity of the accounts or is required to participate in the devotional practices inspired by them.
Some view the heavy emphasis given to the Divine Mercy devotion (the product of a private revelation) as inappropriate, particularly when we have so much to draw upon in the rich liturgical symbols and celebrations of the Easter season. Blessing bulletins? Please!
The Sunday Bulletin of April 9th did not have a report of the collections for the weekend of April 1st and 2nd. Using the average of the collections from 10/16/05 for that weekend and the reported amounts for the other weekends, we can estimate that since 10/16/05 parishioners have donated $32,077.32 less than the $406,000 the parish budget called for during that period. If the spending patterns of the last fiscal year have continued (13.4% over budget), then this gives a total of $86.460.60 of red ink (versus budget) for the period 10/16/05 to 4/23/06. Stretching that pattern for an entire year, the Parish would fall short by $160,569.68.
A family member is moving to metropolitan Seattle, so Google was called on to aid in searching out information about parishes in the area. So, from the website of Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, WA:
A love for the scriptures and an ability to speak well in front of others; registered member of the parish, baptized and confirmed.
Requirements: A love for the Body of Christ, registered member of the parish, baptized and confirmed.
Choirs at Holy Family are first and foremost liturgical ministers… There is a place for EVERYONE…
Simple stuff, isn’t it? I wonder how Holy Family in Kirkland can continue to function properly with such openness to participation in the liturgical ministries of the parish.
Vitality in the American Church
“The new Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, has recently said he ‘is impressed by the vitality of U.S. Catholicism.’
“He should know that the vitality he is witnessing is in no small part due to an ecclesiology that has increasingly included strong and well-educated lay people in leadership positions. Developing that kind of leadership did not occur quickly or without great effort, and it needs to be protected from some who would like to turn back the clock to a time of a priest-rich church when clericalism was the order of the day.”
From an editorial in the National Catholic Reporter, 4/14/06.
Prepared by RGV Parishioners for Progress and edited by Jerry Brazier. Copy this, and pass it on to fellow parishioners, either by e-mail or paper. If you want an opportunity for prayerful discussion of these and other issues about the parish or have any other comments, please contact us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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