As Easter Time segues into the months
of Ordinary Time during the summer,
we anticipate days when we can spend
more time considering our vision for
our parishes. With fewer meetings
during this time of year, we can reflect
on what we do well and areas that
need to be strengthened. As the title of
this issue emphasizes, we are always
working for the Kingdom of God.
In the main feature in this issue,
"A Prayer of a Priestly People," Paul F.
Ford helps us reflect on how the Universal
Prayer is prayed in our parishes. Ford notes
the significance of the Universal Prayer to the
liturgy. In this prayer, he states, "the People
of God recover their irreplaceable role of
interceding for the needs of the Church and the
world." He questions whether the importance of
this prayer is known throughout parishes. Does the
writing of this prayer receive the time it deserves,
and is it composed in light of the readings and liturgy
of the day? Ford emphasizes that the congregation
should hunger for this prayer just as it does the
Eucharist. Parish staff would do well to consider
how this yearning could be the norm within their assembly.
May is considered the month of Mary, and many of our
religious education programs will seek to help youth look
to the Blessed Virgin as a model disciple. Our parishes
may have additional times for praying the Rosary and an
image of the Blessed Mother may be crowned. Sometimes,
though, an effort to honor the mother of our Lord leads
to the singing of Marian hymns at times when another hymn
is more appropriate. Julie G. Males addresses this concern
in the article "The Place of Marian Hymns in the Liturgy."
The summer is perhaps the best season during the year to set
aside time to take a good look at the best way to organize the
sacristy. Liturgical Environment author Mary Patricia Storms
provides guidance for the storage of vessels, the hanging of
vestments, and the storage of materials that are used only
during certain seasons. No matter how organized your sacristy,
this article may provide a solution to a quandary the sacristan
Many parishes struggle with the formation of the team for
the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The article
"Collaboration and Cohesion: RCIA Teams That Matter"
provides information for growing and nurturing teams.
Author Teresa Marshall-Patterson explains that many people
who would serve as excellent team members are already
extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, hospitality
ministers, or proclaimers of the Word. These parishioners
have a love for the Church and a prayer life that is
enriched through Scripture and the liturgy.
You will want to be sure to distribute the downloadable
handouts to your parishioners. The Living Our Faith article,
"The Saints Show Us the Way to God," will support families
as they seek to help their children look to the saints for
guidance on how to live. Parishioners will develop a deeper
understanding of the Church's celebration of Pentecost in
the article "The Gift of the Holy Spirit."
May your summer be filled with reunions of family and
friends but also with much fruitful dialogue with your staff
on how your parish can help build of the Kingdom of God.
Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Using the liturgy as its source, Pastoral Liturgy® has been intentionally designed to be of service to the whole parish with resources for leaders and parishioners, those who are just beginning to learn about liturgy, and those who are seasoned volunteers and professionals.
The six 32-page, full-color issues follow the course of the liturgical year to provide guidance for liturgy preparation, faith formation, liturgical art and architecture, and the many areas of parish ministry that flow from the liturgy to witness the Gospel and build the kingdom of God.
Pastors, parish staffs, liturgy committees, catechists, musicians, architects, and everyone seeking to learn more about how the liturgy forms and informs all of parish life will find this resource a valuable support to understanding the liturgy more fully and incorporating it as the source for all they do. That's why Pastoral Liturgy® magazine is the liturgy magazine for the whole parish!