Happy Easter from CCCR and Council of the Baptized!
First off, in the spirit of Easter rising, we have the periodic reminder of why you are getting this email: You are part of a network of parishioners within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis--from St. Gregory's in North Branch to St. Joseph's in Red wing and from St. Michael's in St. Michael to St. Wenceslaus in New Prague. There are about 200 parishes in the Archdiocese, and in each of them there are men and women who have a vision of our local church--the archdiocese--as the Christian community we are responsible for. There are about 1500 of us in this network now, and we aim to reach all who are concerned about a mission-oriented archdiocesan community. We are a network of people asking "What changes need to be made?" and "How can we make them happen?"
Basically, what we are talking about is our collective Catholic culture--our interior life, beliefs, values, the way we communicate and respect each other, others, and the universe we live in. We are aiming for "a culture of Encounter" as Pope Francis has phrased it, in line with the development of Vatican II. It is about openness to the Other and to the world. It is about manifesting by our culture the Easter message of hope. We think the purpose of the archdiocesan and parish institutional structure is to support our individual and communal growth into a culture of Encounter.
Of course, there are thousands of threads to follow in asking what needs to change and how can the Catholic institutional structure support our cultural growth. CCCR-Council of the Baptized has been listening for pockets of energy among the people to give us some starting points. We have been telling you about them in these monthly Lay Network Updates: an archdiocesan synod, an archdiocesan pastoral council, a liturgy commission, a women's commission. All are means to the end of developing our culture in the direction Jesus exemplifies.
So you are invited
The Council of the Baptized is extending a conversation about priesthood and Eucharist with panelists Fr. J. Michael Joncas, Tom Fisch, and Jim Moudry on Tuesday, April 25, 7-9 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul. Please come to continue the conversation begun on April 11. What does it mean for us to be "a priestly people"? What is the role of a priest? Do we see ourselves as a priestly people?
The Open Forum on Tuesday, May 9, asks, Is there only one way to be Catholic? Fr. Paul Feela will give us a historical view of that question. Has our religion been a "big tent" religion in history? Come to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for this discussion, 7-8, 700 S. Snelling in St. Paul.
Tell us how you would describe the culture of the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2017? Are you aware of the culture of your own parish, and is it the same as the culture of the archdiocese as a whole? What do you look at to observe a culture? Are we open to encounter the world of the 21st century? Or are we afraid that encounter will corrupt us? Are we a community that manifests the Easter message to the world or are we a community focused on safeguarding our Catholic identity with its beliefs and unique practices? Are we a unified community working together or are we divided along political lines? Can we come to consensus on ways we need growth and then develop programming to promote growth?
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The CCCR-Council of the Baptized leadership is trying to articulate a "why" for the organization. We think trust and accountability are both necessary in a culture of encounter. This is what we have come up with to date:
CCCR and Council of the Baptized are working to bring trust and accountability to the archdiocesan Catholic community and to welcome everyone to the table. CoB listens to and advocates for the concerns of Catholics. CCCR is the action arm and organizes, plans, and implements programs toward creating that trust and accountability.
Tell us what you think of this way of putting it.
. Thanks for being part of the Lay Network!!