Council of the Baptized logo
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
January, 2019


Happy New Year. We hope for ourselves and for you that we can all be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit in 2019.  It takes faith and paying attention to recognize the Spirit's lead in all the conflicting noise around us. It also takes communicating with one another, and that may be the hardest part.

Where is the Holy Spirit leading this Archdiocese?  

We have hope for the Lay Advisory Board the Archbishop has initiated, and today is the day the parishes were to have their representatives selected. We have had no updates, but we will let you know when we do have something to report.

As you know, during 2018 CCCR-Council of the Baptized has been listening for the Spirit's voice in the documents from the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) as well as in the commentary on them over the past 53 years.  This is the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, right?

One thing we're learning about is attitude. In The Constitution on the Church in the Modern World , the Council talks about the attitude we are to take toward the world we live in.  Instead of holding ourselves separate from the world, fearful of contamination, the magisterium says we are in solidarity with the dignity of humanity.  We enter into dialogue. We relate to the pluralistic world around us to discern the working of the Spirit there. We believe that the Spirit is working everywhere.

Granted, it can be hard work to keep an even keel in the turbulent times. We have to look inward for strength and create interior interpersonal solidarity.

Here is a question: Can you tell our community attitude from our Archdiocesan events?  

Here is an example:  The Minnesota bishops have initiated a program called "Catholics at the Capitol," a meeting with Minnesota legislators each biennium. This year's event is on February 19.  The organizers plan for 2000 people.

In the past, Catholics met with the Joint Religious Legislative Council (JRLC) for its Day on the Hill.  People of faith of all religions and denominations of Christianity met together with legislators.

One of this year's Catholic event speakers is Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, author of the 2017 book, S trangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World .  The MC is Gloria Purvis Scott from EWTN's Morning Glory radio program. The speaker who seems to get top billing is the actor Jim Caviezel who portrayed Jesus in the 2004 film The Passion of Christ . In the afternoon the participants will pray the rosary in the Capitol rotunda and talk with legislators.

There is a private reception for the actor and a $250/plate breakfast with him. The cost for the morning session in the St. Paul Rivercentre is $40 per person; the afternoon program is free.

So that is the event and we would like to hear your thinking about it.
Have you heard of this event?  Would you attend? What can you tell about the bishops' attitude toward the world from the description of this event?  Are they trying to create exterior solidarity among our own Catholic community to stand up against evil in the world? What does praying the rosary in public demonstrate to the world?

Do you hold with the separation of Church and State?  What does it mean to you? Are we strangers in a strange land?  Do we look to State law-makers to force people by law to conform to our ideas of the good life?   Can we see ourselves as fellow citizens partnering with other people of good will to make a society in which all can thrive?  

Massimo Faggioli, historian and theologian, now at Villanova and formerly at St. Thomas, describes in Commonweal one reaction of Catholics to turbulent times, a turn toward "integralism." He quotes John Henry Cardinal Newman in calling it "a church within the Church." Integralism looks for more control by authority to calm the fears. Is that what is going on here?

Please tell us your thinking.

In 2019 at Council of the Baptized Open Forums , we continue to learn about the vision of Vatican II and how it can be worked out in our Archdiocese.  

The February 12 Open Forum will be facilitated by Dr. Catherine Michaud, C.S.J.  
The Holy Spirit Shall Not Remain Invisible!   And the Roman Catholic Church cannot remain as an other-worldly, static, juridical organism. In this form its time has passed. Vatican Council II marked its demise and delivered a crucial and historic gift to the World: The vibrant plan for a church that expects God's saving self-communication to take place in human history-in visible/sacramental, historical, and dynamic ways, and in structures of authority in the People of God that affirm them as Ecclesia , the communion-of-equals formed, directed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to complete the Spirit's transforming mission.  

Open Forums are held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul, at 7:00 p.m.  Please come.

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