I am writing this letter days after the
funeral of Cardinal Francis George.
Most likely, many of you across the
country watched that liturgy. And very
likely, many of you were struck, and
perhaps challenged, by Bishop Peter
Bishop Sartain described Cardinal
George's life as an offering. "He offered
a life joined to the Cross of Christ; a life
of faith, hope, conviction, and courage; a soul
devoted to prayer; a brilliant mind in love with
God; a vision od the New Jerusalem," the bishop said.
The homily pointed out that Cardinal George made "an
oblation—an offering—a sacrifice—a gift—
of his life." In so doing, he lived the liturgy. During
the Mass, we pray with the priest as he says, "that my
sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty
Father." We bring our sacrifice—the offering of our
lives—to the Mass, and from the liturgy, we bring what
we received—Christ—to the world.
"What Francis George received, he handed on to us. So has it
ever been in the Church, and so shall it ever be, now through
you and me," Bishop Sartain concluded his homily.
We are challenged to live the liturgy, to pass on the faith.
May we, like Cardinal George, take to heart our call to make an
offering of our lives.
In this issue of Pastoral Liturgy™, author Corinna
Laughlin's article, "Times for Renewal: Retreats for Liturgical
Ministers," outlines ways to provide spiritual nourishment for
those who serve in our parishes. You will appreciate her careful
consideration of the many details that are part of a successful
Kate Cuddy continues to guide us with her article, "Mentoring
Youth for Ministry." This piece will broaden understanding of how
to connect with the young under our care.
Liturgical Environment author Mary Patricia Storms explains how
fabrics, colors, and natural elements can be used to prepare the
prayer environment in a variety of spaces throughout the liturgical
year. You will want to share the article, "Prayers That Can Be Touched,"
with your leaders of prayer as well as with your art and environment
The two articles in the "Initiation" section will help parish
teams build on their understanding of the Rite of Christian Initiation
of Adults. Mary A. Ehle writes on "Exploring the Text of the RCIA," and
Jim Peters writes on "Celebrating the Rite of Acceptance."
You will want to distribute our downloadable resources, "A Sign
of Our Belonging," by Trish Sullivan Vanni, and "Praying with the
Angels and Saints," by Kristopher W. Seaman, to your parishioners.
The first piece will assist parents in teaching their children the
Sign of the Cross and the second will help parishioners understand
how our prayer is united with those in heaven.
I leave you with a quote from and Easter homily by Cardinal George
that Bishop Sartain incorporated into his homily. "If Christ is risen
from the grave and the Church is our mother, then our destiny reaches
beyond space and time, beyond what can be controlled and measured. And
therein lies our hope."
May the peace of Christ be with you.
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!