As I write this column on the Third Sunday of Lent, the Archdiocese of Chicago has suspended Masses due to concerns regarding COVID-19. Out of concern for the health of the faithful, many other dioceses have dispensed with the obligation to participate at Mass. Still, as Cardinal Blase Cupuch states in his message to the archdiocese, we must attend to each other spirtually and emotionally in ways that are safe. The cardinal urges people to look to Jesus' actions and continue to care especially for the vulnerable.
In the feature "Lifting Every Voice: Christus vivit and the Liturgy," author Nicole M. Perone leads readers to examine how Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Christus vivit (Christ Is Alive) can be used as a road map to draw young people more into the liturgical life of the Church. She asks liturgical leaders to examine whether the liturgies that they prepare are joyful and whether they speak to the daily lives of young people.
When beset by strife or in need of comfort, we may look to the ways God acts in the world. The fourth form of the Eucharistic Prayer for Use in Masses for Various Needs, "Jesus, Who Went About Doing Good," shows how Jesus' ministry to the poor, the oppressed, and the afflicted revealed God's care for his sons and daughts. In the article "Jesus' Acts of Compassion Reveal God's Love amid Strife," Rev. Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, tells of how the Preface in this prayer notes that the mystery of God's love is revealed in the human condition.
It is difficult to predict whether the usual festivites will take place this summer. Parishes will want to keep in mind the suggestions that Fr. J Philip Horrigan offers in "Celebrating Anniversaries, Feast Days during the Summer."
In "Forming Catechumens to Center Their Lives on Prayer," Susan Timoney assists teams in exploring the priority the parish initiation process places on prayer. Be sure to bring this article to the attention of your parish Christian initiation team.
In the Living Our Faith article "Examples of Faith Form Youth," Kathryn Ball-Boruff points out that children look to their parents and other adults to model a life of faith. Parishes and catechists will want to download the article to distribute to parents.
Author Kathy Kuczka breaks open the exhortation Christus vivit, encouraging parishes to find creative ways to help youth and young people participate in parish life. Parish staff will want to download the article "Young People Seek Room to Grow, Engage with Faith."
Finally, Father Michael Trail's article on Fr. August Tolton is inspirational, no matter one's age or pastoral role. Tolton, who as a youth fled from his slave owner, would not set aside his service to God, even through persecution on his path to the seminary and as a priest. Nearly a year ago, the Church declared him "venerable."
May Easter Time be a blessed season of realizing how God works in our lives during difficulty. As you pray for others, ask them to pray for you and your ministry.
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!