As of noon on March 9, we have no new word on our next archbishop. We hope you are all praying! The archdiocese with its leadership is the framework supporting all the parishes, and there is a tremendous amount of work to do in supporting the parishes to make this local church a sign of God's reign. We are ready to collaborate with the new archbishop. We devoutly hope he will invite all the laity to work with him!
Council of the Baptized open forum
On April 12, CoB will host the leaders of the Pastoral Recommendations Project to talk about what support services we need from the archdiocese.
Thanks for all your email support for this project to date.
These are some of the recommendations the PRP is working on: parish ministry formation, including seminary formation (see Tom Bartoe's post below); on-going, two-way, channels of communication between leaders and people; a reconciliation process for alienated Catholics; meaningful liturgical and sacramental expression; personal and spiritual growth opportunities; means of outreach to the field-hospital that is the Church's mission.
If you have ideas for how to improve the support services the archdiocese provides for your parish or for you personally, please come and share. Mark your calendar now for April 12. We will let you know the location of this Council of the Baptized open forum before the end of March.
We aim to have the recommendations ready by June 1.
We intend to strengthen our institutional community as a support for the mission of the local Church to the world. If not us, who? If not now, when?
From Tom Bartoe
In recent months, two parishes in the southern suburbs have experienced pastor changes with dismal results. The assigned pastors lost the majority of the highly skilled and qualified staff members, most with masters degrees. In most organizations this would be viewed as a dismal failure of leadership and the subsequent decline in organizational effectiveness (in this case ministry). The loss of talent impacts the life of the parish in countless ways which will not be measured. For the lay persons truly invested in taking ownership of their parish, this calloused disregard for the talent and gifts of these staff members is quite remarkable. The motivation of the new pastors to display a lack of collaboration, a self important demeanor and an independent attitude toward decision making is certainly not in the spirit of Vatican II and does not "empower the laity." I suggest that the leadership ability of pastors be evaluated more carefully and the spirit of empowering the laity be revisited throughout the Archdiocese. The current mechanisms for holding pastors accountable for their actions is flawed and has produced the extreme economic travesties in bankrupt dioceses throughout this nation. A call to accountability is weak at best. We can not respect leaders who are not held to a higher standard. Because we have a shortage, we seem willing to overlook what most highly effective organizations would find unacceptable. At one end of the spectrum we have the sex abuse issues and at the other end we have parishes in decline due to a failure by the pastors to lead. Empowerment of the laity has been replaced by the absolute authority of the ordained, who all too often fail to lead. Reform has to take place in these areas to see real progress in the church we love.
From Dave Liebl--FOR ALL CATHOLICS: PLEASE SEE THE MOVIE "SPOTLIGHT"
I am asking all adult Catholics to see the movie "SPOTLIGHT", which is based on a true story and just won Best Picture of the Year. It's about the investigation by the Boston Globe of the sexual abuse and rape of children and the cover up by the clergy of the Catholic Church.
I remember when the movie "THE PASSION OF CHRIST" came out. The Church could not have done more to make sure that we Catholics all needed to see that movie.
Now is the time for the hierarchy from the Pope down to the last priest to be transparent, like they claim they are. If they are truly transparent, every priest needs to have a message put in his church bulletin and also to encourage parishioners from the pulpit to see this movie. They could have no greater opportunity.
But don't hold your breath.
Thanks, Tom and Dave.