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Comment & Dialogue
Word and Worship
Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
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Belonging to the wider Catholic community
June 10, 2018
The 12th (and last) declaration of our fourth diocesan synod has three paragraphs. It is an essential aspect of our Catholic identity that we understand that we belong to the wider Catholic community beyond our local parish. The word “catholic” in fact means “universal,” so we belong to the universal church throughout the world as well as to our local diocese. Priests are collaborators with their diocesan bishop and bishops are successors of the Apostles in union with the Pope, who is the successor of St. Peter. As individuals tithe to their parishes, the parishes in turn will tithe with the diocese, which in turn contributes to the needs of the universal church in Rome and throughout the world.
Trust in God’s providence and give accordingly
May 27, 2018
The 11th declaration of our fourth diocesan synod was one of the more highly discussed and debated topics of the synod. Tithing is a concept that is not familiar to many Catholics despite its strong biblical roots.
Who acquires and owns my possessions?
May 13, 2018
The 10th declaration of our fourth diocesan synod makes clear the connection between discipleship and stewardship. The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word “disco,” which is not a dance, but means “I learn.” A disciple is someone who learns from someone else. A disciple of Jesus is someone who follows Jesus in order to learn from him and live accordingly.
Art of dying in God’s grace is key to everlasting happiness
April 29, 2018
The ninth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod states: “The art of dying in God’s grace is the key to everlasting happiness in eternal life. The Christian faithful die to sin through the saving waters of baptism. By dying to their selfish desires through acts of mortification and self-sacrifice, the Christian faithful grow in love of God and neighbor. The whole Christian life aims at reaching this goal of everlasting happiness in eternal life by turning from sin and growing in virtue through God’s grace.”
Fostering active participation of the people of God in divine worship
April 15, 2018
Continuing our overview of the 12 synodal declarations of our fourth diocesan synod, we come now to the eighth declaration, which says: “The art of celebrating the liturgy properly and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist devoutly (ars celebrandi et adorandi) is the key to fostering the active participation of the people of God in divine worship. The clergy of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois must consider the celebration of the liturgy as their principal duty.” This declaration is taken from the opening paragraph of my first pastoral letter, which I issued on June 22, 2014.
Hand on Catholic faith to the next generation
April 01, 2018
Taking to heart our Risen Lord’s command to “go and make disciples,” this great commission pertains not only to religious missionaries who go off to foreign lands to preach the Gospel, but also to the responsibility of our local parish communities to pass on the faith to the next generation. The seventh declaration of our fourth diocesan synod addresses how to carry out this responsibility.
Young people need the Holy Spirit at an early age
March 18, 2018
Previously we saw that the fifth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod addresses the life-long catechetical formation needed to prepare people to be disciples of our Lord and stewards of his creation. This relates to the proper sequence and age for receiving the sacraments of initiation, which is addressed in the sixth declaration of the fourth diocesan synod.
Fifth declaration: catechetical formation
March 04, 2018
Having looked previously at the first four declarations of our fourth diocesan synod, we now look at the fifth declaration. Since the previous declarations of the synod addressed our communal commitment to the discipleship and stewardship way of life and described for us as individuals what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the fifth declaration of the synod addresses the life-long catechetical formation needed to prepare people to be disciples of our Lord and stewards of his creation.
To be a disciple means to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
February 18, 2018
We come now to the fourth declaration of our fourth diocesan synod. The first three declarations of the synod addressed our communal commitment to the discipleship and stewardship way of life as a community of faith, setting our pastoral initiatives in relation to holiness, and growing both in terms of the numbers of followers of Jesus Christ as well as in the depth of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our fourth synodal declaration seeks to describe more for us as individuals what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Grace is the key to growth in the church
February 04, 2018
Previously we have discussed the first two declarations of our fourth diocesan synod, in which we declared our commitment as a diocese to the discipleship and stewardship way of life and pledged to set all pastoral initiatives in relation to holiness. Today we will consider the third declaration of our diocesan synod
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