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The Age of the Laity? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 28 February 2008 07:40
Tom Loarie has an interesting article in the Catholic Business Journal "Are We Living in the Age of the Laity?"

Tom knows Fr. Michael Sweeney, who started CSI with me and is now President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. I've not met Tom yet but have heard of him from Fr. Michael who taught the Called & Gifted workshop that Tom attended.

Tom quotes Russell Shaw's excellent The Christian Laity in the Mission of the Church at great length. (we carry Shaw in our online bookstore). He then makes this startling statement: It is estimated that 33% of all parishes in California will be administered by deacons in ten years.

Really? I'll have to check that figure out. I know that the average parish in California has 10,000 people in it (as opposed to the national average of 3,500). So far haven't found any corroborating info on the internet. Anyone have wisdom to share on this particular statistic?

In any case, Tom sums it up this way:

here are three requirements for the laity to be involved in a fruitful way. The laity must:

1. Be well formed.

2. Use the gifts God has given them (“The Called and Gifted”). And,

3. Understand their purpose and the role they fill within the Church.

Loathe as I am to disagree at all with anyone who has the good taste and smarts to mention the Called & Gifted, I'd have to add a 4th point in first place.

1. Be intentional disciples of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Church.

Everything else follows: formation, discernment, mission.

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