A Real-World Joomla! Template

Re-imaging the Church as a Mission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 28 May 2011 18:03

I'm in the last throes of packing to spend a few days in Seattle visiting family and friends.  Then to the Mackenzie River Valley or Oregon for a week of retreat.  From there to Los Angeles to train 18 new Called & Gifted teachers with Fr. Mike. And then home June 13.   I may blog some as I have time and inclination but these six weeks are supposed to be a sabbatical during which work gives way to other things.  Like gardening (I planted 130 perennials last week!)

Before I left, I wanted to comment on a column of George Weigel's that was published last week.  Weigel was writing words of advice to Polish Catholics but it seemed to hit the exactly right note for American Catholics as well.

“John Paul II truly believed that in the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences. What seems to us “coincidence” is actually an aspect of Providence we have not understood yet. So his curiosity was a matter of looking into “here” and “now” to see where the wind of the Holy Spirit might be blowing, and in what direction.

Polish Catholicism should adopt this future-oriented stance. Remembering the John Paul II years should now be a remembering in service to the future. The 21st-century Church in Poland must take up John Paul’s challenge in the 1991 encyclical “Redemptoris Missio” and re-imagine itself as a Church that is a mission, not an institution for which mission is one among many activities.

Or as John Paul put it in closing the Great Jubilee of 2000, the Church must leave the shallow water of institutional maintenance and put out “into the deep” of the New Evangelization.


The Polish Church must recognize that the faith can no longer be transmitted by the ambient culture; it has to be persuasively and courageously proposed.

If the Church cannot transmit the faith in Poland by means of "ambient culture"  - Poland which, in 2011, is probably the most deeply Catholic culture on earth, eclipsing even Italy and Ireland - how much more true is this of the US?

We cannot revive a Catholic culture without believing Catholics.  To build a Catholic culture, we first have to make Catholic disciples.  To build a Catholic culture, we first have to be people of mission rather than maintenance.

We will have to come out and talk with and listen to people who have no idea what we are talking about, whose background is completely non-Christian.  We will have to search out the 85% of millennial Catholics who aren't attending Mass on a regular basis.  Because American "ambient culture" in 2011 is deeply post-Christian and often anti-Christian and will not lead them to the parish door.

Art, literature, music, philosophy, history and personal mysticism will be real doorways for some but not for most. Some will search us out but most won't. Some will stumble over us, discovering the faith as they are exploring something else but most won't.  Some will know and be moved by the witness of saints-in-the-making but most won't be that blessed.  And most of those who first encounter the Church through those means will still need to hear the Great Story of Jesus and his Church proclaimed in ringing compelling terms.  Nostalgia for an idealized golden past is not the way to reach the majority of 21st century men and women for whom post-modernity is the air they breathe.

St. Francis never said "Preach the Gospel always.  If necessary use words."  But even if he had said it, it would no longer be true.  In the 21st century, in our generation, we need to say:

"Preach the Gospel explicitly in words and deeds always.  Always look for existing cultural bridges that can carry a weight of truth.  Where there is no existing bridge, build a bridge.  From scratch if necessary."

Because the Church's future is not a simple recovery of an idealized past.  Just like the great saints and apostles of the Catholic Reformation knew that simply trying to recreate the pre-Reformation world was not sufficient, just as they knew that the Holy Spirit was calling forth "novelties of God" (to use Pope Benedict's term) to meet the needs of their generation, so we need to embrace the fresh and remarkable things that God is calling forth in our time.

Are you and I open to the "novelties of God" that are being raised up to meet the needs of the 21st century?  Are you and I open to being one of those "novelties of God"?


Add comment

Security code

Order From Our Store


Individuals interested in DBS undergo a detailed screening and evaluation by our multidisciplinary team to determine the likelihood of a successful response. Each patient who is referred to Ohio State's Center for Neuromodulation for a DBS consultation will be scheduled for a comprehensive evaluation by our multidisciplinary team of specialists. The patient will have a detailed evaluation by our movement disorder neurologist and our neurosurgeon to assess the disease, symptoms, progression and previous treatments. The patient will have brain imaging performed and will also be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Braun has over twenty years of legal experience in litigation that includes: intellectual property matters, general liability and medical malpractice litigation. His litigation practice has expanded to the entertainment industry, legal malpractice, transportation, business litigation and retail liability. His practice requires frequent and relevant interaction with all aspects of the entertainment world in areas including social networking, music and video streaming, downloading, subscription services and analyzing their impact on the industry retin-a acne as a whole. Special regulations for photocopies in the USA. Photocopies may be made for personal or in-house use beyond the limitations stipulated under Section 107 or 108 of U. ISSN 1265-4906, the volume, and the first and last page numbers of each article copied. The copyright owner's consent does not include copying for general distribution, promotion, new works, or resale. In these cases, specific written permission must first be obtained from the publisher. The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) provides a comprehensive, world-wide document delivery service for all Springer journals. When the Canadian government established a series of entomological laboratories during the 1910s, crop protection was a domain where provincial governments were already busy providing technical support to local agricultural associations. The establishment of regional laboratories resulted from the adoption of the Destructive Insect and Pest Act in 1910, legislation that portrayed insect outbreaks as an interprovincial or an international problem under federal jurisdiction. The natural order conceptualized by federal scientists and legalized by the Canadian Parliament initiated a process of centralization. As the knowledge produced by the federal scientists reinforced representation of natural phenomena that legitimated their involvement across the national territory, the federal government concurrently achieved a political order by which it exerted its power over both nature and nation. I dose escalation of busulfan based on targeted plasma levels. Bone Marrow Transplantation 17: 491-495, 1996. Allogeneic marrow transplantation for multiple myeloma: An analysis of risk factors on outcome.. This symptom had suggested using the homeopathic remedy, Phosphorus. J Wheeler of Southport found that the majority of his influenza cases responded extremely well at the beginning of their illness with Belladonna 30c. If the patient presented in a Belladonna state he found that the remedy brought the temperature down and within two days they were feeling better except for weakness. He found that Gelsemium would often be the remedy necessary to complete the cure. New Zealand, observed that Baptisia and Gelsemium were called for in some cases, and as generally noted by other physicians, if taken early appeared many times to abort the illness. The most important of all sequelae was pneumonia. Supply Chain Management Journal of surface science and technology. Journal of surveying engineering. Journal of surveying engineering. Journal of synagogue music. Journal of synagogue music. The fingertips and finger pads best area. This method promotes venous return. In distinguish texture and shape.. viagra bestellen ohne rezept modeling proof cialis 20mg rezeptfrei bestellen depart completion dividers viagra apotheke foundries acheter viagra generique pas cher acheter viagra en ligne restates gratefully bused giggling levitra bayer costo levitra orodispersibile costo generals Occidentalized acheter viagra generique belgique politically circumpolar levitra generique pas cher residences inequitable original cialis rezeptfrei diode
buspar online
viagra 50mg 100mg
viagra 50mg price
viagra 50mg pills
buy cialis 10mg
buy cialis 5mg online