As we approach the start of the Jubilee
Holy Year of Mercy on December 8, parishes are seeking
ways to help their members delve deeper into understanding
the nature of God's mercy.
During this year, the pope calls us to contemplate
the mystery of mercy. Among the ways the pope is proposing
that we avail ourselves of God's mercy is through the Sacrament
of Reconciliation. He asks that parishes participate in the
initiative "24 Hours for the Lord" to bring people to the
sacrament. In "Drawing the Parish to Partake in God's Mercy,"
Stephen S. Wilbricht,csc, considers how to catechize on the
sacrament and join in the initiative this Lent. Wilbricht also
is the author of the booklet His Mercy Endures Forever:
Encountering God's Mercy in the Mass, which Liturgy
Training Publications has published to help parishes connect
our greatest prayer with the mercy of God.
To help your parishoners know more about the year, the
downloadable article, "The Holy Year of Mercy," is available
on the Pastoral Liturgy® website for distribution
in your parish bulletins and faith formation sessions.
Ten Years ago, the US bishops released the document Co-
Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the
Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry. Marking that
anniversary, Zeni Fox has written the article "Lay Ecclesial
Ministry: Where We Have Come, Where We Need to Go." She writes
of the evolution of the term lay ecclesial ministry
and the work that still awaits for the goals of the document
to become a reality. The article should yield rich discussion
for staff in parishes and diocesan offices.
The art and environment team tasked with preparing the
church for Lent will want to read the Liturgical Environment
article "A Time for Conversion." In this piece, J. Philip
Horrigan explains that the worship space during this season
should call us to repentance and a change of heart. Careful
placement of vessels and objects from nature will provide a
mood and somber tone for the seasons.
Our "Initiation" article focuses on the importance of
evangelizing Catholic. In "Making Evangelization a Parish
Priority: A Pastor's Observation," Micahel Clay writes
that just as evangelization is a primary focus of the initial
phase of the catechumenate so must it be a priority in forming
Catholics. The article shows how individuals can be brought into
a living relationship with the Lord, incorporated into a deeper
connection with their parish community, formed around teachings
of the Church, and equipped and commisioned to live out the mission
of the Church. This article will provide parishes much food for
thought on the evangelization of their parishioners.
The Living Our Faith article, "Observing Advent at Home,"
will guide parents as they seek to enhance the prayer life of their
families. Author Trish Sullivan Vanni helps families realize how they
can keep Advent in their domestic church.
"Celebrating Santo Niño," by Matthew Rios, osb, provides
a scriptural and liturgical observance for the devotion honoring the
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!