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Call to Baptism: Implications for Publicly Authorised Ecclesial Ministry.

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Presentation on theme: "Call to Baptism: Implications for Publicly Authorised Ecclesial Ministry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Call to Baptism: Implications for Publicly Authorised Ecclesial Ministry

2 Facing the future ‘The unity of the church is not uniformity, but an organic blending of legitimate diversities. … The church of the third millennium will need to encourage all the baptised and confirmed to be aware of their active responsibility in the church’s life. Together with the ordained ministry, other ministries, whether formally instituted or simply recognised, can flourish for the good of the whole community, sustaining it in all its many needs…’ (Novo millennio ineunte, 46)

3 Local church Theologically, local church is diocese Community of baptised located in a particular place Gifts of Spirit find concrete expression Word of God, apostolic faith, is proclaimed and takes root Eucharist is celebrated Community life is a witness in concrete situation

4 Local church Leadership is important in local church Leadership will happen at various levels and in various sectors Bishop has particular role to foster and preserve unity of the church Chief minister of communion Leadership is exercised in communion

5 Local church Needs of this place are recognised What the church needs in order to fulfil its mission Pastoral care of all the baptised Response to social, political, economic world where church is located Responsive to constant change Never isolated; in communion with other local churches Catholic identity

6 Permanent Diaconate Relatively new expression of ministry: in contrast to transitional diaconate Can raise questions for us: Why do we need this ministry now if it played such an insignificant role in church’s ministry for so long? Where do we locate this ministry in terms of baptismal call? Where does this ministry belong in relation to other ministries? What will be the ministerial tasks of permanent deacons?

7 Permanent Diaconate Understand diaconate within the ecclesiological vision of Vatican II Baptism inserts us in communion with God and each other It calls us to engage in God’s mission Communion and mission make us participants in God’s saving plan for creation In this the church takes on the function of sacrament

8 Permanent Diaconate Deacon lives as sacrament of God’s saving plan for the world One dimension speaks of deacon ordained for the service of the bishop Ministry at the service of unity and communion, which are expression of salvation This will find expression is multiple ways

9 Permanent Diaconate Deacon lives as sacrament of God’s saving plan for the world Another dimension focuses on service of charity Charity is sign of reign of God (cf. place of care for widow & orphan in Jesus’ ministry) Primary ministry is extra-liturgical, and will find expression in various ways Liturgical ministry, especially at Eucharist, is linked to service of charity

10 Permanent Diaconate Diaconate should be permanent in sense that it is constant reminder of centrality of service in the mystery of God’s saving love Issue is not one of being in competition with other ministries As sign of service deacon should foster ministry of service among all the baptised As one of the baptised, deacon lives & acts as member of communion As one of the ordained, deacon lives & acts in appropriate relationship with other ordained

11 General Lay Ministry Takes many forms; often informal Connected to life of witness and mission (cf. Evangelii nuntiandi, 70) ‘vast and complicated world of politics, society & economics’ ‘world of culture, the sciences, the arts & media’ Evangelise culture; transform humanity & make it new from within (EN 18) Participation in liturgical & pastoral life

12 Lay Ecclesial Ministry A more recent development in the church Takes shape differently in different places; may be named differently Is identified as a lay ministry Is a concrete response to new situation and new needs Is understood as an ecclesial call that gives more specific focus to baptismal call Therefore, is not just a measure to get us out of a tight spot It is a theological statement about the (local) church

13 Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formalised and set within structures of communion Authorised to serve publicly Leadership in particular area of ministry Collaboration with pastoral ministry of the ordained (bishop, priests, deacons) Formation for ministry required (USCCB, Co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord) Commitment to service in local church for a specified period of time.

14 Authorising ministry Public ministry in the church is authorised by the church This is marked liturgically Person thus assumes a new relationship with the church as a particular kind of minister Leads to stability of ministry Permanent for ordained For agreed time for lay ecclesial ministers

15 Authorising ministry Background: Baptism has already set us in relationship: with God and with others in the church Communion of the church is an organic reality Diversity of gifts given to the church Diversity of ministries necessary for mission of church Bishop has particular task of oversight

16 Leadership Spiritual Leadership Christian education Evangelisation Liturgical ministries Pastoral ministries Organisational/administrative ministries

17 Leadership Attentive to the unity of the faith Enchanted by the vision of the gospel, the ‘faith of the church’ Has the imagination to find appropriate ways to express this as the faith of the whole community Avoids turning the timeless faith into a museum piece Achieves the appropriation of faith by symbol and ritual Makes a connection between faith/worship, and the choices people make in a changing world

18 Leadership Thoroughly apostolic Helps the community to be attentive to the memory of the teaching of Jesus. Encourages on-going study of Jesus and his message Recognises that the community exists in the continuity of the faith through space and time Joins the community in discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit, reminding and leading into truth Helps the community to be missionary in the way it faces up to change

19 Leadership Recognisably Catholic Appreciates the mark of catholicity of the church. Values the diversity in the world church Is alert to ways the community can become isolated – from the rest of the church, from the world around it. Calls the community back from temptation to fundamentalism and sectarianism Challenges the community to learn from other communities and other expressions of faith, life and worship

20 Leadership Characterised by holiness Avoids a managerial approach to leadership Communio sanctorum as shared participation in the holy, in the life of God, in the Holy Spirit, in the gospel Recognises that we are confronted with the gift of the Spirit as we construct a future. Promotes a spirituality that is grounded in a recognition of the gift of the Spirit, the call to become what God has called us to be, and a realistic appraisal of the challenges of the world Becomes a prophetic sign to the world

21 Mutual collaboration Bishop: Ministry of communion in local church with whole church Shows concern for continuity of apostolic faith Is Christian with all baptised; is a bishop for the local church (Augustine) Shares relationship with lay ecclesial ministers through baptism Particular relationship as a result of recognising lay ecclesial ministers and authorising their ministry in the local church

22 Mutual collaboration Priests: ‘prudent cooperators with the bishop’ Ministers of word and sacrament Ministers of pastoral care Build up the priestly people of God Share relationship with lay ecclesial ministers through baptism, and participation in priestly, prophetic & kingly role of Christ Recognise and call forth ministers within the community Nurture the gifts present in the community In collaborative ministry be a sign of what God has called the church to be

23 Mutual collaboration Deacons: Share relationship with others through baptism May engage in same tasks/functions as lay ecclesial ministers

24 Formation Familiar with categories of formation Human Spiritual Intellectual Pastoral Involve other people in their formation (e.g. wife or family members) Reflection on life experience and existential situation

25 Formation Larger issues of formation across the diocese Discernment of call to ministry and to a variety of ministries Begins by raising consciousness of baptismal calling Recognise different levels of engagement among the baptised Find ways to support people as new forms of ministry are put in place

26 Synthesis 1. Theologies of ministry must begin with an experiential description of ministry today 2. Baptism is initiation into life of Christ and way of discipleship in the church by which all participate in the mission of the church 3. Mission is grounded in divine missions of Word and Spirit, which flow from God’s love for the world

27 Synthesis 4. Ministry, grounded in baptism, is building up the body of Christ for the mission of the church. Ministry not only serves the internal needs of the church, but enables the church to pursue its mission for the transformation of the world 5. Within the diversity of the Spirit’s gifts the life, communion and mission of the church have been served by ordered minsitries

28 Synthesis 6. What is constant historically is the principle of sacramental order. What changes is how ministries evolve and are ordered 7. These principles call us to an on-going ecclesial discernment and a fresh articulation of an ordering of ministries in order to recognise emerging ministries and changes in church practice

29 Concluding comment Living with change This is not simply structural change It is also theological change, as new understandings develop Idea of living with change is found in gospel: ‘repent for kingdom of God is at hand’ It began with our baptism It continues through life as a spiritual process, requiring attentiveness to the Spirit It is part of life of church

30 Concluding comment Ecclesial structures should help us work through change Structures of communion and dialogue Warning: ‘unless we follow this spiritual path [of communion], external structures of communion will serve very little purpose. They would become mechanisms without a soul, “masks” of communion rather than its means of expression and growth’ (Novo millennio ineunte, 43)


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