Vanguard Bishop Steps Up
Some snippets from this morning's statement of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Full text can be found here; the italics are my own.
Now that I have been asked to assume these responsibilities, I ask for your prayers and support that, with God’s help, I will persevere in service to the whole people of God and effectively foster the life of the Church in this Northwest corner of Missouri . To all of you here and to the faithful throughout the Diocese I pledge my love and service and I say to you: You must pray for me and support me. Without this unity of mind and heart before God we cannot carry out this truly supernatural work for the good of God’s people.
Though the work is significant I am consoled by the fact that this is not a responsibility I take on alone.
In the last months I have spent much time, studying, consulting and praying about some questions I am asked most frequently: What is my vision for the Diocese? What are my plans for the Diocese? Most recently, “Are you going to change anything?”
At the risk of disappointing you, I must say that much of this vision and these plans will still have to be formulated in more concrete terms. For this I will depend on a host of advisors, co-workers, and faithful parishioners as time goes on. The vision must always be consistent with the light and wisdom of our Catholic Tradition, and in total and clear accord with the Holy Father. The People of God expect nothing less. The planning will not be done only in the Chancery office, and if it is to be fruitful, it will require time, hard work, sound social science, persevering collaboration and much prayer...
[A] special commission [will be formed]. This working group will gather information from many sources around the diocese, and seek to determine the whole wide array of needs that the Catholic faithful have for religious formation and education. The work of the commission will not, at this moment, look at our elementary and secondary schools, but primarily focus on needs for adult religious education.
For example: Do pastors and parishes need catechists? teachers of religion? Do Catholics need and desire opportunities for spiritual enrichment? Bible study? Theological coursework? Retreat opportunities? The premise of the commission’s work will be as a “zero-base” study that says, in effect, IF we did not have anything in place, what would we need to provide so that Catholics can grow in a sound and mature faith and live this faith life more fully?
Mhmm. Mhmm. And mhmm.... "Mature faith," "adult faith" -- these are the chief Benedictine buzzwords. And the lack of adult catechesis has not served things well at all.
Here begins a way forward.