The Easter season is a time of rejoicing in the new life that the resurrection brings. It is also a time to reflect on our lives in the Spirit. In the Gospel reading from John on the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the Spirit of truth who remains in them. Then in the Letter to the Ephesians on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, St. Paul’s words of thanksgiving request that the disciples receive a “Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him” (God). During this season, we might seek to grow closer to the Spirit who guides our ministries.
Often the Spirit leads us to ministries that may have been overlooked. In “Bringing the Light of Christ to Those Living with Dementia,” Kathryne Fassbender writes of the nearly invisible need for pastoral ministry to people who suffer neurocognitive loss and to their care partners. The considerations that the founder of the Hem of Christ ministry offers lend insight to forming relationships with people who have dementia and their caregivers.
Discussions on ars celebrandi often center on the skills of presiders, music ministers, and readers. The role of the environment must also be taken into consideration. In “Creating a Space That Enhances the Assembly’s Participation,” Mary Patricia Storms writes that upon first entering the church, parishioners and visitors should be welcomed by an ambience that sets a tone for prayer.
As the faithful stand during the entrance procession, recite the creed, and lift their voices in song at the Holy, Holy, Holy, they become as one during worship. In the bulletin insert “With Word, Gesture, Song, the Liturgy Unifies the Assembly,” Kathy Kuczka writes that the unity expressed in the liturgy strengthens us to move beyond our needs to those of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Attending Mass as a family is foundational to forming children in the faith, Kathryn Ball-Boruff emphasizes in the Living Our Faith insert “Celebrating Mass as a Family.” She writes, “If you want to hand on the faith, it is vital that you practice it.”
In “Hope Accompanies Easter Joy,” Living Our Faith author Kathryn Ball-Boruff directs her letter to parents, but her words root all of us in the understanding that our invitation to a communion of love transforms sorrows.
As North American Forum on the Catechumenate members, Clare Colella and Rev. Ron Oakham, ocarm, witnessed the faith journey of catechists. In “Forming a Faith-Filled People,” the facilitators for the National Gathering on Christian Initiation 2023 tell of the effect encountering adapted initiation rites has on catechumenal ministers.
Finally, the celebration of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is observed on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the back cover article “A Day for Grandparents, Elders,” Paulette M. Chapman writes on the ways that parents can honor and recognize the gifts of grandparents and older adults.
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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