It seems that more and more often communities gather urgently to pray and act as they confront senseless death by gun violence, war, and injustice. The article “In the Face of Human Tragedy, a Call to Prayer and Action,” by Johan van Parys, considers how we bring our needs and the needs of the world before God at these times as we also determine ways to act. Within the article are outlines of prayer services that parishes will find valuable while preparing liturgies with their community, with other Christian communities, and with members of other faiths.
When Pope Francis expanded the instituted ministries of lector and acolyte and then created an instituted ministry of catechist, he gave voice to the hope that lay participation in liturgical and catechetical ministries would be recognized, Kyle Lechtenberg explains in “Institution of Ministries Lifts Up the Priesthood of the Baptized.” Parish ministers will want to read this article to more fully understand how these instituted ministries will impact the Church in the United States.
In the second reading on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we hear St. Paul describe faith as “the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” As an example of faith, St. Paul tells of Abraham’s sojourn to an unknown land and trust that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. In the stories of God’s people, “faith is a sign of the inbreaking of the kingdom,” Margaret Nuzzolese Conway writes in the liturgical spirituality column “For Evidence of Faith, Look to the Most Vulnerable.” As we continue to define faith today, the author points out that we may want to look to those who are fragile, both young and old, and embrace the hope that they carry.
For many years, Mary Therese Harrington, SH, has trained catechists who prepare people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to receive the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist. Through the Special Religious Development agency of the Archdiocese of Chicago, she has witnessed the transformation of children as they learn reverence as catechists accompany them on a journey to the sacraments. In “Preparing People with Special Needs for the Sacraments,” Sister Mary Therese explains the process of accompaniment that nurtures a desire to receive Communion. She explains, “A grace-filled sacramental moment occurs when the person’s desire corresponds to the welcome offered at the table of the Lord.”
To live out Catholic social teaching is to regard others as deserving of respect as would be any of God’s children. In the downloadable bulletin insert “Catholic Social Teaching: All Are in God’s Image, Likeness,” Kathy Kuczka explains that small things that we do show solidarity for another. Parishes will want to insert this piece into their bulletin to help their parishioners understand Catholic social doctrine.
At a young age children can learn that all individuals hold an inherent dignity, no matter their circumstance. “Each human being has a dignity that nothing can take away,” Kathryn Ball-Boruff notes in the Living Our Faith downloadable “Recognizing Dignity in Others.” Parishes will want to insert this article into the bulletins to help parents form children in the faith.
May you find many reasons to praise God as you minister to your parish this summer.
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.
The six 32-page, full-color issues follow the course of the liturgical year to provide guidance for liturgy preparation, faith formation, liturgical art and architecture, and the many areas of parish ministry that flow from the liturgy to witness the Gospel and build the kingdom of God.
Pastors, parish staffs, liturgy committees, catechists, musicians, architects, and everyone seeking to learn more about how the liturgy forms and informs all of parish life will find this resource a valuable support to understanding the liturgy more fully and incorporating it as the source for all they do. That's why Pastoral Liturgy® magazine is the liturgy magazine for the whole parish!