As we hear of tragedy in the news, parishes often grapple with a response.
Whether the event is a violent one in which people are killed, a natural disaster that disrupts
lives, or a political decision that affects the poor and oppressed, the assembly awaits a prayerful
With the liturgy already prepared, it can be tempting to let the matter go unaddressed. However,
in "Praying the Liturgy in the Face of Violence," Fr. Bradley A. Zamora points out that since Christians
are to unite with the joys and hopes and the griefs and anguish of the afflicted, they cannot ignore such
While forming others in the faith, parish staff and liturgical ministers can forget to open themselves
to the mercy and love God offers. In "The Difficult Call of the Gospel: To Plave Our Faith in Christ," Fr.
Ronald Patrick Raab,CSC, explains how vulnerability can bring about conversion.
Having been called to faith, we are also called to holiness. In Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis
states his aim "to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way." Reviewing the exhortation, Steven P.
Millies, the director of the Bernardin Center, writes that the Holy Father directs us to look to our closest
relationships for a path to holiness.
A number of places in the parish can portray the faith and enhance the environment. Liturgical environment
writer Fr. J. Philip Horrigan suggests that parishes with schools may want to consider commissioning a local
artist to make crosses for the classrooms. He also writes that liturgical calendars and seasonal displays can
enhance meeting rooms and offices. In the church vestibule, an arrangement over the portal can draw people to
Throughout the periods of Christian initiation, those who are journeying to the sacraments will experience
times of discernment. Donna Steffen, SC, explains the value of taking time to see how God is
calling the catechumen in "Disciples Discern."
Archbishop Blessed Oscar Romero encouraged a young Octavio Duran in a ministry in communications, enough to
even purchase the camera Duran used to take photos of the archbishop for the diocesan newspaper. Some of those
photos of the soon-to-be-canonized martyr make up this issue's Doing Good Work section. In the back cover article,
Duran, a Franciscan friar, remembers Romero.
Parishes will want to insert in their bulletins the downloadable article "Liturgy Sends Us into the World"
to help their assemblies connect their prayer to their mission. Kathy Kuczka writes that "the liturgy teaches
that prayer moves us to care for the world around us." The Living Our Faith downloadable helps parents, grandparents,
and others pass on the faith to children. In this issue, Kathryn Ball-Boruff writes of helping children reflect
on how God calls them in "Learning to Hear God's Voice."
As we enter summer, be sure to take time to be present to God. Often ministers are busy with their work with others,
but God awaits their presence.
May the blessings of the season be with you.
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!