Happy Easter, the source of our hope.
We have lots of hope, and we are asking for your responses to two questions:
1. Who will be the new rector of the seminary in St. Paul and Minneapolis?
You may have heard that the seminary rector, Monsignor Thomas Richter, appointed in January, was recalled by his bishop in Bismarck, ND, to take a parish in Dickenson. The reason given for his recall is that there is a shortage of priests in that diocese and he is needed there. The story is here in The Catholic Spirit.
We care--and care a lot--who becomes the next rector because he will set the tone for the formation of priests in the Archdiocese, the pastors who will support our spiritual growth into the future. The Catholic culture in the Archdiocese is, to a large extent, formed by the formation of our pastors.
We want the culture to be informed by the official teaching of the Church developed at and in accord with Vatican II and the vision of Pope Francis. We want the ordained to lead us in our baptismal "priesthood of the laity," in communion with one another and in communion with all Christians and all faith communities. We need leadership especially in praying the great public prayer of the Church, the Mass, and in advancing the reign of God in the world. Big goals. Big hope. Big job for a rector of the seminary.
Here is the first ask: Will you email Bishop Andrew Cozzens, copying Archbishop Hebda, if you like, telling him your hopes for the formation of priests in our Archdiocese?
The article reports that Archbishop Hebda invited the congregation at the seminary Mass to give recommendations to Bishop Cozzens, who is in charge of the search for a new rector. We are presuming that we are welcome as stakeholders to make recommendations even if we were not at that Mass.
Copy us too so we will know whether we are on track with the Holy Spirit.
If you do not know the names of any priests you could recommend, you can offer your opinions on qualifications.
For your information, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' directive on seminary formation, including the role of the rector, is here.
Thanks for doing this.
2. How can we establish regular channels of communication with the Archbishop?
Surely emailing him on occasion is not the best way to get things done.
CCCR is drafting a proposal for the Archbishop to establish a Lay Advisory Council. And here is the important piece of the proposal: the members of the Lay Advisory Council will be representatives from Lay Deanery Councils, with Deanery Council members coming from Parish Councils. A regular channel of two-way communication.
Here is the second ask: Will you read the proposal and give us your ideas for improvement, for alternate systems, or for strategies for proceeding with the proposal?