Another Pentecost. So where is the Spirit leading the church in this Archdiocese in 2018?
Is that question above our pay grade? That is why the Archbishop gets the big bucks? Since church leadership isn't about bucks, the Catholic way to say that before Vatican II (1962-65) was that the Holy Spirit leads the church through the bishops and clergy. Lay people were to leave thinking about the Church's direction to the ordained.
But not anymore. Since Vatican II and the Constitutions on the Church, Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, we can no longer get by with passing the buck to the ordained or to the lay people on the payroll. Our baptism makes all of us--lay and ordained--responsible for discerning the Spirit's lead in the direction of our local church. We are all participating in varying ways in Jesus' priestly role, his prophetic role, and his governing role. We are all called to wake up, be priestly, prophetic, engaged, and "holy." What would that look like?
Archbishop Hebda responded to the April Lay Network Update with thanks for our concern about the two topics we mentioned--a new seminary rector and channels of communication between parishioners and his office. We take his response to mean he values our baptismal responsibility to pitch in and he welcomes our input. Thanks to all who emailed him.
Even though Vatican II adjourned 50+ years ago and the world has changed radically during those years, the Council provided the agenda for an ever expanding openness to the Spirit of God. We know that some of our fellow Catholics look upon Vatican II as a destroyer of the "Catholic" way of life, and they hold out for a return to law and order. Though we empathize with their fear of chaos, we believe that prayerful communal consideration of the Church's direction in Vatican II can lead to our growing into the law of love and and a new order of peace and justice. We can manifest the message of Jesus to the world: we are in God and God is in us; we have nothing to fear. We have to do the work for this cultural change to happen.
Council of the Baptized Open Forum is doing that work. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month (except July), 7-8;30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at 700 S. Snelling, St. Paul.
So far we have had Bill Hunt, Carol Tauer, and Jim Moudry speaking of their experiences of Vatican II when it was going on; Joe Reid speaking about the transition from Vatican I to Vatican II and the growth of historical consciousness; Nancy Gotto and Bonnie Strand speaking about the baptismal roles of priest, prophet, and ruler. At each presentation, Catherine Michaud, C.S.J., whose doctoral work was on the Vatican II teaching about the Holy Spirit, comments on the materials presented as they highlight a spirituality.
June 12, Mary Jo Czaplewski and Patty Thorsen will address the Vatican II teaching of the universal call to holiness. Come join us.
As we mentioned last month, we are working on a proposal to Archbishop Hebda to establish a Lay Advisory Council and Lay Deanery Councils. Without channels of two-way communication the Spirit's voice is limited. If you want a copy of Draft 7 emailed to you, let us know. We would like your feed back.
Here is a question for you: What are the barriers to Catholic lay people's stepping up into responsibility for the local church? What do you think is holding us back?