Council of the Baptized logo
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
May 2017


Mark your calendar  for the Council of the Baptized Open Forum, Tuesday, June 13, 7-8 p.m., Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul. The question is whether we need Archbishop Hebda to convene an Archdiocesan Synod to lead us in our baptismal mission.  We think YES.

See below for further discussion of the question.  Come talk about it with us on June 13.

Publication announcement:  The Council of the Baptized has published a new position paper entitled Catholic Women and Holy Orders: The Time is Now.  If you want a copy sent to you, email us at .  It will also be available soon on the website.

Our goal is continuing conversation among lay Catholics to grapple with Church teaching on this subject and to recognize and celebrate those who believe they have been called by God to serve as ordained and who happen to be women.  We long to discuss this with the entire Catholic Church: hierarchy, clergy, and lay people.

Call for Volunteers:   CCCR and Council of the Baptized need help with keeping our lists in order. We have a database of people who have been supportive of our work and who receive emails and snail mail from us.  Bill and Bev Bailey have worked for several years getting the lists set up and keeping them updated. They deserve unending thanks and also some help, but we are short-handed.
  • Are you willing to call people whose emails have bounced back?  They may have new email addresses and we can update them.
  • Are you willing to do data entry?  Once the call is made and we have a new email address, we need someone to enter the new address.
  • Are you willing to keep track of clergy appointments published in the Catholic Spirit ?  Our email lists of priests and deacons change periodically when new appointments are made.      
  • Would you look for parish council presidents on parish websites?  Directors of religious education?  We could do much more outreach if we had updated information.
  • If you are a "superuser" with backdoor knowledge of data systems or know someone like that, email us if you or they are willing to help.
Email us at and we will get right back to you!  

What is this about an Archdiocesan Synod?   Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the official teaching of the Church has been that communication among hierarchy, clergy, and laity is necessary to the reality of Church.  We cannot be Church without communication. We cannot grow in a gospel-centered Archdiocesan culture unless we are intentional about it in structured communication. 

After the Council, Archbishop Leo Binz established an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council for that purpose, and following him, Archbishop John Roach (1975-1995) not only continued the APC with lay deanery representatives, he also convened assemblies for all the faithful, held at St. Thomas.  But we have never had an Archdiocesan Synod as urged by Vatican II.  And after the early 2000's, we have not even had an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.  As you know,  we have been promoting a re-establishment of an APC since 2013.   We reported a conversation with Mert Lassonde about the first APC in a Lay Network Update last year.

What kind of a Synod should it be?
Given the upheaval in the Archdiocese in the past ten or more years, we are hoping for a healing Synod that brings people together in a vision of what a local church should be, a joyful and united manifestation of God's love for the world.  We can go from culture wars to the culture of encounter that Pope Francis advocates.

We are hoping to use the creative ideas people have been generating in parishes and conferences to address their concerns over the past ten years.  A synod could develop these ideas and produce plans for structures and programs to deepen our Catholic culture.     

And yes, we are hoping that an Archdiocesan Synod would lead to the establishing of structural channels for ongoing communication like an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council so the laity could have an integral place in the decision-making of the Archdiocese.  It takes all of us, laity, clergy, and bishops, continually alert to the Spirit to keep the policies and practices of the local church soundly based in gospel values.  

Let us know what you think.  Email and come to the Open Forum, June 13.  

Still in joyful hope,
CCCR Board and Council of the Baptized