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March 5, 1993     The Message
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March 5, 1993
 

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M E S SAGE SPECIAL SYNOD SECTION -- MARCH 1993 i i Representatives pick issues, share thoughts, offer solutions Vincennes, Michael Stomont of of Haubstadt, , their next, Vincennss and Princeton Deanery Assam- ' Vincennes Deanery picks at a glance b- What were the primary pastoral issues selected at the eaery Synod Assemblies? Following is a summary of :t Issues selected by representatives of the parishes who ,t at deanery assemblies on Feb. 20 and 21. Evansville East Deanery 1. Living the Faith 2. FOcus on Lay Leadership 3. Justice Evansville West Deanery I. Healing and Reconciliation z' Living the Faith 3A. FOcus on Lay Leadership 3B. Catholic Schools 1 ' . . Jasper Deanery Llvlng the. Falth le/Supply 2. Expectahons/Ro of Priets, Deacons and Religious hi 3 Focus on Lay Leaders p By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor "Living the Faith" is one of the most important issues in the Diocese of Evansville, ac- cording to the representatives of the parishes who met at Deanery Synod Assemblies on Feb. 20-21. A planning committee last fall had identified 10 "Pri- mary Pastoral Issues." "Liv- ing the Faith" was one of them. Many parishes in the dio- cese conducted assemblies, so that interested parish- ioners could voice their opin- ions on what was the most important issue. Parishes also selected up to five representa- tives to attend a deanery as- sembly -- where they were asked to name the top three issues. Participants at the deanery assemblies had their reasons for their choices, too, and they willingly shared them. Participants at the deanery assemblies also made specific suggestions on what could be done about their concerns. Collecting such suggestions from individuals is another step in the process toward proposing specific action at Synod '93. Some of the sug- gestions were quite specific, some were far-reaching; some were possible, some were be- yond the scope of possibility within the diocese. Following is a summary of their reasons for selecting is- sues, and a sampling of sug- gestions on what to do, as- sembled from the comments collected at all of the deanery assemblies. Living the Faith Some participants felt that many Catholics, especially young people, don't know what the Church stands for and what they should be doing. Others said that "Liv- ing the Faith' included such issues as evangelization, adult education and family. Many expressed a concern that Catholics "mouth their faith" but fail to live it, thus giving poor example. Other comments included these: "Need people to be more involved in church. If we do this, everything else follows." -- "Catholics need to be about personal witnessing." -- "The RCIA helps a lot of people, but other adults need education in the faith to be able to pass on the faith." "We need greater stress on the teachings of the Church and moral issues." "Small faith sharing groups are life giving." "We all need renewal in the faith." Forty-five suggestions were made about what do about this issue. Among them were more adult education, Bible study, workshops and lec- tures; more attention to indi- vidual prayer; deanery-wide retreats, community pulpit exchange, and the formation of small faith sharing groups. Lay Leadership "We need to empower peo- ple to be leaders," said one participant. Volunteers are ample, said another, "but it's always the same people." "Lay people should have greater voice in decision mak- ing concerning parishes," said one person. Lay people have special talents which need to be put into action, said another. Other comments expressed concern about the priest shortage, the role of women in the Church, the need for lay leadership to be a model for children to follow, and these opinions: Lay people need to be invited-enabled-involved in total parish life and min- istry." "Women" need to play a larger role in our Church, e.g., management and administration." "Parish Councils need to be renewed so they can serve as movers and shakers." "The diocese needs to establish methods and train- ing to allow more laity to ac- cept more leadership." "Laity can assist in areas of administration." Suggestions  a total of 35 from all of the deanery as- semblies -- included having women take a major role in management and administra- tion, renewing the use of the parish council, providing training and workshops for lay persons, conducting lead- ership training for lay per- sons, working jointly with neighboring dioceses for for- malized education, and hav- ing stewardship education on time, talent and treasure. Expectations/Roles/Supply of Priests, Deacons and Religious "Priests need to concen- trate and perform priestly du- ties and leave more adminis- trative and financial duties to qualified lay people," com- mented one of the Partci - pants. Another said" that the rural, smaller par!shes are concerned with nawng an or- dained minister and about the distribution of priests. Another suggested that the role of married deacons should be expanded to help with the priest shortage. "The Church needs to study the question of ordina- tion of women and married priests," was also suggested. One asked the question: "Which is more important bureaucratic structure, or that the Church has access to the sacraments and its spiritual tradition? Other comments included the following: Continued on naxt page I  .... Newburgh Deanery _' -ruty Z. Living the Faith 3, E. xpectations/Roles/Supply of Priests, Deacons and Religious 1 Lie' - Princeton Deanery 2 .. mg the Faith 3 ealing and Reconciliation rriest Shortage/Lay Leadership Vincennes Deanery ' Living the Faith FOCus on Lay Leadershi family P Wuhington Deanery the Faith streach Leadershi p