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Issue: #21 October 2015

Lots of exciting news in this issue of the CCCR newsletter, including the continuation of the listening sessions with interim Archbishop Hebda and a visit to the Twin Cities of theologian and scientist Ilia Delio, OSF.
And don't forget: Now more than ever we want to keep the local church reform movement growing to promote the upcoming listening sessions and be ready to work with our new leadership.One way to do this is to increase the number of people in our Lay Network. Currently, there are over 1550 Lay Network members, from all parishes and all deaneries, but that's no where near the number of folks who love their church and want it to thrive in this archdiocese.  Please encourage your friends and family to register with the Lay Network at or click here
Archdiocesan Listening Sessions on Leadership Needs Continue

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, Interim-Archbishop Hebda and his staff are hosting a Fall listening  session series aimed at gathering lay feedback in helping shape the archdiocese's future.

Reporting on this development for The Catholic SpiritMaria Wiering writes:

Archbishop Bernard Hebda is asking for Catholics' input on the strengths and challenges of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the qualities hoped for in its next archbishop, through a series of listening sessions to be held in October and November.

The sessions are "taking a page from Pope Francis' playbook," he said.

"It's an opportunity for our local Church to be able to offer some input to Pope Francis and those with whom he'll be collaborating in making a decision about the next archbishop," he said. "I think it's important that we see how consultative Pope Francis has been from the beginning of his pontificate. Consider, for example, his use of a committee of cardinals to advise him and the emphasis that he has placed on the Synod process. We're hoping that we might be able to assist him - in all humility - along those lines by giving him some information from those who know the archdiocese best."

Friends, this is our opportunity to step up and let our voices be heard about the type of leadership we want to see in our local church! Please do all you can to attend one of the listening sessions and encourage family and friends to do likewise.

Following is the November schedule of listening sessions published by The Catholic Spirit.

Monday, November 2  at  St. Peter, Forest Lake

Tuesday, November 3 at  Divine Mercy, Faribault

Wednesday, November 4 at the  University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.

Ilia Delio, Scientist and Theologian, to Speak at St. Frances Cabrini Church

Ilia Delio, OSF, will speak at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church on Sunday, November 8 (11:00 a.m. - noon).

A renowned thinker and writer in the field of evolutionary spirituality, Ilia will explore the idea that the artificial separation between humans and the cosmos is at the root of our contemporary moral confusion.  She envisions a Christianity rooted in contemplation, deep connection with nature, and creative expression.

"We are on the cusp of an evolutionary breakthrough," Ilia says, "one that requires our conscious participation as co-creative agents of love, midwives of the new creation."

Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality is hosting Ilia Delio its Annual Fall Soul Conference on Friday, November 6, 7:00 - 9:00 pm and Saturday, November 7, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.
The Soul Conference will explore, re-imagine, and embody a new unifying Christian story of the cosmos. For more information, visit

Quite Something!

  On the evening of Tuesday, October 6, I attended a " lis tening session wit h interim  Archbishop Hebda," the purpose of which was to gather feedback from local Catholics to help inform Pope Francis' choice for our new archbishop.

Held at  Pax Christi Catholic Community  in Eden Prairie, the October  6 l isten ing session (part of an ongoing series) drew well over 300 people. It was quite something to hear so many lay Catholics spe a k their minds on the strengths of our local church, the biggest challenges we face moving forward, and the most important attributes/characteristics we want to see in our next archbishop.

And, of course, it was quite something to know that we were being listened to!

As noted in this newsletter's opening article, t his is exactly the kind of communication process we've been hoping and working for, and we are grateful to the Archbishop and his staff. These listening sessions are our opportunity to step up and let our voices be heard about the type of leadership we want to see in our local church! Please do all you can to attend one of the listening sessions and encourage family and friends to do likewise.

For more about the purpose and significance of the archdiocese's ongoing series of listening sessions, and for a list of remaining sessions,  click here .

For an account of the September 3 meeting between Archbishop Hebda and representatives from CCCR,  click here .
Flash Points

* The 2015-2016 strategic focus of CCCR and the Council of the Baptized is two-pronged: empowering the laity to claim a meaningful role in Church and evolving our relationship with the Archdiocese. The upcoming listening sessions outlined above, are a perfect way for all of us to get involved in the this two-pronged strategic focus!
* Catholic Church Reform International (CCCRI) has two initiatives that our local church can actively support. These are efforts to give voice to the concerns of lay people from all around the world. Your participation is encouraged!

The first is a powerful position paper that has been published and which summarizes the data gathered worldwide from the CCRI survey on sexuality, marriage and family. This position paper can be viewed here.
The second CCRI initiative is a website called The People Speak Out, which is gathering stories from Catholics around the world regarding issues of sexuality, marriage and family. Please visit this webpage and share your story. You can choose from a variety of categories. While there, take time to read the stories posted by others. You can visit this webpage by clicking here.

Recommended Reading

*   Catholic Bishops at Synod Call for a More Welcoming Church  - Nicole Winfield and Daniela Petroff (Associated Press via  Yahoo! News , October 24, 2015).

*    Synod Hears Call to Re-examine Teachings on Sexuality and Birth Control - ( October 16, 2015).
*    Having the Wrong Discussions . . .  Questions from a Ewe (October 13, 2015).

*   The Real Synod Has Yet to Arrive  - Robert Mickens (National Catholic Reporter, October 12, 2015).
Think, pray, speak and take action.