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LAY NETWORK UPDATE
CLAIMING OUR VOICES
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
   

 
 
Event coming up:  Sunday, December 18, 2:30 pm, St. Paul Cathedral, Archbishop Hebda's Pallium Mass. Come if you can to show support for Archbishop Hebda.   http://www.archspm.org/archspm_events/pallium-mass-archbishop-hebda/
 
As you know, CCCR-CoB has been advocating for an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC) as an on-going structure for two-way communication since 2012.  On October 27, when he spoke with parish leaders, Archbishop Hebda talked about calling a Synod and the possibility of its resulting in an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, and we will be happy to support that approach. We hope the people will be able to get elected representatives on the APC through Lay Deanery Councils set up with Synod sponsorship.
 
As you also know, t he Pastoral Recommendations Project steering committee has been waiting to talk with the Archbishop about all the recommendations you submitted in 2016.  The Archbishop hasn't had time to talk yet, and CCCR is putting a positive spin on that.  Our spin: Instead of addressing our concerns piecemeal, Archbishop Hebda may be ready to call an Archdiocesan Synod to hear the voices of everyone.  Our hope is that a Synod designed to hear from all Catholics could result in a comprehensive strategic plan that would include the concerns we brought up in the recommendations, with priorities discussed by the people.  The goal is to set up a channel for two-way communication and some programs for a healthy, mission-driven Catholic community.  We want to support whatever it takes to make that happe n.     

Do you think an Archdiocesan Synod could unify the community and provide some two-way communication with the decision-makers?  Give us your thoughts at info@cccr-cob.org.   

We do not have to wait for a comprehensive strategic plan or the Archbishop's nod, however.  CCCR and Council of the Baptized are moving ahead in implementing recommendations as part of Action Plan 2017. Campaigns include advocacy for a general Synod, lay deanery organizing, and groundwork for the re-establishment of the Archdiocesan Women's Commission and expansion of the Worship Board to a Liturgy Commission that supports lay liturgical ministers in parishes.  If you are interested in working on these or any other actions to strengthen the community, let us know at info@cccr-cob.org.  
 
As you have probably seen, the Congregation For The Clergy at the Vatican issued an instruction to seminaries last week. It included the 2005 decision to exclude gay men from ordination. What do you think about that?  Many of us are signing the letter written by New Ways Ministry to Pope Francis asking him to reconsider banning gay men from the priesthood. The deadline for signing is the end of December, 2016.  
 
 
The Vatican instruction: 
 
Bulletin Board:
Have a very hopeful and happy Christmas.  Here is a reflection from Gerry Sande's (St. Cecilia) Christmas letter:

"I have always thought that one of Christianity's better ideas is something called "the communion of saints", the conviction that all of humanity is tied together in one big party.  That includes all of us--past, present and yet to come--latter-day saints, former-day saints, present-day saints--and all of us sinners too.  All of us are children of this planet, one with nature and one with each other, where each of us has a place in the long line stretching back to the beginning and far into the future.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of the Hebrew Scriptures continue to instruct us, as do Jesus of Nazareth, Paul of Tarsus and Muhammad of Mecca--even as we ourselves continue the sweep of history and in our own lives prepare a place for those who will come after us.  Perhaps that is a God's eye view of humanity, all of us together, behaving well or badly, but always together.  We hope your place in the crowd is a pleasant one, and that this Christmas brings us all a little closer."
 
In joyful hope,
CCCR Board and Council of the Baptized