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June 2017 Newsletter

Learn about a convocation being hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Our reaction and the reaction of other progressive Catholic groups is still emerging.  Stay tuned.   Examine our latest position paper on women's ordination.    S hare in CCCR Board member Bob Christensen's love of, hopes for, as well as disappointments in the Catholic Church.  Read on.
Convocation on the Joy of the Gospel in America 
In the first week of July, the USCCB has scheduled a national "invitation-only" convocation to unify and revitalize the US Church.   The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is sending a delegation of 20 to this convocation in Orlando.  On learning of the event this week, CCCR requested that Archbishop Hebda appoint Joe Reid, a Council of the Baptized member who belongs to St. Frances Cabrini Parish, to the delegation.  With apologies for an already full delegation, the Archbishop added Joe to the waiting list to the Archdiocesan delegation.  

Did you know about this initiative of the US bishops?  Do you know anyone who has been invited?  Read about it in these links:

The convocation of Catholic leaders: The joy of the Gospel in America  - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Summer gathering of Catholic leaders meant to revitalize church in U.S.  - Catholic News Service ( Crux , February 15, 2017).

Evangelization at the margins drives USCCB convocation planning - Dennis Sadowski (Catholic News Service, March 6, 2017).  
June Open Forum:  What is this about an Archdiocesan Synod?
The Council of the Baptized will be holding another of its well-attended Open Forum programs on June 13.  

We will be discussing the following questions:   Do we want Archbishop Hebda to convene an Archdiocesan Synod and open communication throughout our local church?  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 unifying 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.  Come learn more and voice your ideas or concerns.  

Date:   June 13 ,  2017
Time:   7-8pm
Place: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
          700 Snelling Ave South
          St. Paul, MN 55116 

Catholic Women and Holy Orders:  The Time is Now 
The Council of the Baptized has published a new position paper entitled  Catholic Women and Holy Orders: The Time is Now.   You can read it online at  Catholic Women and Holy Orders: The Time is Now .  If you want a copy sent to you, email us at

Our goal in publishing this paper is continuing the 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.
InOurArchdiocese In Our Archdiocese
Hebda Comments on Vote of Abuse Survivors' Case
On May 11, 2017, the StarTribune shared the response of Archbishop Hebda for the vote by abuse survivors' that was recently taken.  Archbishop Hebda said,  "It is my understanding that the balloting was intended to inform the Bankruptcy Court as to how many creditors consent to confirmation of the proposed Plans," he continued by saying, "Given that the outcome of the balloting does not necessarily dictate any one particular result, we will continue to look to the Court for guidance as we proceed. I believe the Archdiocese's Plan of Reorganization ... provides a fair and just resolution to the bankruptcy." 

Opportunities:  Be Involved

Here are some ways you may consider contributing to the work of CCCR and CoB:

1.   Come to our June Open Forum:  What is this about an Archdiocesan Synod?  Find more details in  Council of the Baptized News .   June Open Forum.

2.  Attend FutureChurch retreat on women deacons.  It will be in San Francisco, California, September 8-10, 2017. More information:   Women Deacons Retreat .   

3.   Listen to Cynthia (Sam) Bowns' reflections (May 15, 2017) on women deacons at Catholic Women Preach

If you have an interest in any of these issue areas, or have a specific interest you would like to see pursued, send an e-mail to:
WhyAmIInvolved Why Am I Involved?

There are many reasons and stories to share.  This month we will hear from Bob Christensen:

I am a lifelong actively practicing Catholic who was blessed with a Catholic education starting at St. Leo's Grade School, Nativity Grade School, Cretin High School, and Saint John's University.

This experience has instilled in me a sense of commitment with compassion towards people.

I was thrilled as a young adult when Pope John XXIII called for the start of Vatican II.

I am saddened by the failure of our Church leaders to assertively move forward with Vatican II reforms, especially with regard to the laity.

I think our Church is suffering from a lack of lay leadership. I have seen my Church take stands on issues which are diametrically opposed to my way of thinking, and without giving lay people like me an opportunity for discussion and input; and I'm sure there are conservative Catholic lay people who feel shut out as well!

Along with the other CCCR/CoB board members, I have been encouraging our local Archdiocese to create a way for an effective, organized, balanced, and sustainable input by the laity, both conservative and progressive voices alike!

I believe the success of our local Church depends on the laity, i.e., the "voice from the pew," being involved in everything the Chancery is thinking, saying, and doing!

The laity must have a "seat at the table" wherever important decisions are being made in our Archdiocese! 
                                                 -Bob Christensen
RRRecommended Reading  

Catholic citizenship: Massimo Faggioli on the role of public theologians today  - Kaya Oakes ( Religion Dispatches,  May 11, 2017).

Mission and human rights  Sr. Barbara Linen, SHCJ (Association for Rights of Catholics in the Church).

Catholic church: why women could come to the rescue of Spain's Catholic Church - Juan G. Bedoya 
(El PaisAugust 29, 2016 ).

Society of Catholic Scientists meets in Chicago for first-ever conference - Michelle Martin ( Crux:  Taking the Catholic Pulse, May 1, 2017).

Court: Lesbian couple may adopt child over Catholic birth parents' objections  - Robert Shine, associate editor  (Bondings 2.0 , April 18,  2017).
Theologian's autobiography explains his gay journey  - Francis DiBernardo, editor (Bondings 2.0 , May 3, 2017).  
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