With the liturgical calendar filled with the feast days and memorials of saints during the summer and fall, many parishes use these warm months to celebrate their patronal saint. These observances not only gather the community but provide a low-key way for parishioners to learn about the saint for whom their church has been named.
In the article "Celebrating the Patronal Feast, Evangelizing the Community," Rev. Richard N. Fragomeni reminisces about the festivities surrounding the observance of the titular saint of his childhood parish and points to ways patron saints can be honored today. By examining the ranking of days in the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, he provides the rationale for transferring the celebration of the parish patronal feast day to a Sunday in Ordinary Time. Doing so will help keep the patron saint vibrant to the community.
Parishes will want to provide the community with Kathy Kuczka's article "Celebrating the Patronal Saint." The author notes that learning about the patron saint may inspire people to act as prophetic witnesses today. She provides a number of ideas that parishes may implement to help parishioners learn about the patronal saint.
Kathryn Ball-Boruff's article "Drawing the Saints Close" will assist parents and grandparents with ways to help children discover ways that they can relate to the saints. Finding out more about the saints, she says, will help the children relate to a holy woman or man. Parishes will want to be sure that parents and grandparents receive this handout.
The art and environment team is charged with not only decorating the church but maintaining it so that nothing distracts from the prayer life of the community. In "A Dignified Space for Worship," author Rev. J. Philip Horrigan suggests that the team walk through each area of the church, examining whether each space, from the narthex, the baptistry, the music ministry area, etc., lead the assembly to prayer. Parish staff will want to share this article with the art and environment team as well as the liturgy committee.
If parishioners meet to discuss books, the staff might want to suggest any of the books reviewed in this issue. Christians, Muslims, and Mary, by Rita George-Tyrtović, will broaden understanding of another faith's regard for the Blessed Virgin. Catholic History for Today's Church, by John W. O'Malley, SJ, discusses both the First and Second Vatican Councils as well as the development of the papacy. Finally, Catholics in the Vatican II Era, edited by Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Timothy Matovina, and Robert A. Orsi, provides an account of local parishes' experience of the changes of the Second Vatican Council.
The "Initiation" article examines the assembly's connection to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. In "An Engaged Assembly Leads to Well-Celebrated Liturgies," Rita Ferrone notes that parishioners still need to gain a comfort and familiarity with the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens.
May your summer be one of joy and celebration.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Using the liturgy as its source, Pastoral Liturgy® has been intentionally designed to be of service to the whole parish with resources for leaders and parishioners, those who are just beginning to learn about liturgy, and those who are seasoned volunteers and professionals.
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