In designating the Year of St. Joseph, Pope Francis shines a light not only on the faithfulness of the steadfast foster father of Jesus but on all the hidden people who have done extraordinary work during the pandemic. Announcing the year, the pope notes in Patris corde, how “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked.” He adds, “A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.” In “Year of St. Joseph Recognizes Virtues of Ordinary Workers,” Fr. Michael Trail writes that St. Joseph, a man who goes unnoticed, is an apt intercessor to guide us during this troubled time.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) has long formed children in the faith through a catechetical method that guides them to mystagogical reflection on Scripture and liturgy. This method resonates with the renewed vision of the Directory for Catechesis, released a year ago, writes Barbara Matera. In “A Cause for Great Hope: The Directory for Catechesis and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd,” the CGS catechist and formation leader explains that the directory incorporates Pope Francis’ teaching that catechesis should serve as “mystagogic initiation.” This article will provide parish staff and catechists much food for thought.
During these many months of social distancing, parishes have encouraged people to more fully embrace their baptismal identity. In “The Baptismal Priesthood: Sanctifying the Ordinary,” Kyle Lechtenberg writes how the baptized are equipped to share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal ministry of Jesus Christ. Faith formation leaders will want to discuss how to help parishioners realize that their faith is lived out as they practice it in the domestic church and make holy the ordinary in their home and community.
The downloadable articles “Baptized to Serve and Minister as Priest, Prophet, and King,” by Kathy Kuczka, and “Called to Live as a Child of God,” by Kathryn Ball- Boruff, will assist parishes in forming parishioners in understanding their baptismal roles. These articles can be posted on websites and social media as well as distributed with the bulletin.
With renewed insights brought about through the struggles of the pandemic, Rodica M. M. Stoicoiu writes about the life Christ offers and our assent to participate in it. The Liturgical Spirituality essay, “The Bread That Lives Forever,” is a fruitful meditation of the change the Eucharist, and our Amen to it, brings.
Finally, Liturgy Training Publications is looking forward to hosting the 2021 National Gathering on Christian Initiation as virtual workshops. “Implementing the RCIA Adapted for Children,” a conference for catechumenal ministers and parish leaders, will be in English on August 4 and 5 and in Spanish on August 6 and 7. Rita Burns Senseman and Sandra DeMasi, SSJ , will lead the English workshops, and Lia Salinas and Juan Carlos Moreno will lead the Spanish workshops.
May you see God working in and around you during these summer months.
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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