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July 31, 1998     The Message
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July 31, 1998
 

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1998 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 JIM and ANN CAVERA It's a summer evening and the main parking area tt0 the stadium is empty except for a few walkers a father teaching his daughter to drive a two- My mind is flooded with memories of run- my children, holding on to the bicycle giving them words of encouragement. find just the right balance to propel along the smooth blacktop. Their faces light up with joy when they realized that they a task they thought unreachable. I look D rivi ng M r. Crazy at the young father with a tinge of envy. Those were good days. Tonight, 1 am riding in the passenger seat of our family sedan as my youngest practices her turns and gets the feel of the brake and accelerator. This is my fourth and final stint as the family driving instructor. By now, I should be comfortable in this role, but that is not the case. Perhaps it has something to do with being in the second half of life, but from where I am sitting, all the light poles and parked cars seem dangerously close. I know she completed the official driver's train- ing course with an excellent grade, but that is not very comforting when we round the curve on a road that is a lot more narrow than I ever remembered. I have always used intense concentration when learning a new task. Call me naive, but I thought everyone did it this way. What I have come to find out is that my driver-in-training has her own approach, which requires that certain type songs be playing on the car radio to enhance learning. In fact, one of the first skills she mastered was the ability to switch deftly among three stations without even looking. Finding the headlights and wipers took a lit- tle longer. I have been making an effort to stay cool through this learning process, but I haven't been able to fool her. My sudden gasps of air and involuntary bracing motions have not gone unnoticed. Over the din of the music, I hear words of encouragement, "relax, Dad." Perhaps it is the Lord speaking to me. Patience and trust are certainly His expertise. As parents, we never really stop worrying about our kids on the road. After the lessons, there is not much we can do. So each time they slip into the driver's seat, we put them in the Lord's hands. He doesn't mind the music. Jim Cavera Jim and Ann Cavera live and uvrk in Evansuille. Their column is a regular feature of the Message. Organizations say Church needs lay ministers is another in a series "Parish future, parish (CNS) -- The needs priests and lay each enriches the leaders of two nation- said. said statements in a i Vatican instruction on lay in ministry "had a effect both among and lay ministers who committed to the the church." e boards of the Federation of Priests' the National Asso- for Lay Ministry made in a letter to James R. Hoffman of Ohio, who heads the formed by the U.S. last fall to help them and implement the instruction. two boards met May 25 Minn., after Bishop asked the NJzPC and to review the Vatican instruction and inform his com- mittee of their response to it. In their joint response, signed by NFPC president Father Don- ald J. Wolf and NALM president Marti Jewell and made public June 3, the two groups stressed the "mutually supporting and enriching relationships of ser- vice and leadership" which priests and lay ministers expe- rience when they collaborate in their ministry. Both work together to serve the needs of the church, they said, and their ministry is most effective when they work "in mutual and trusting collabora- tion.based on respect and com- petency." The Vatican instruction, issued last November, was titled, "Some Questions Regarding Collabora- tion of Nonordained Faithful in Priests' Sacred Ministry." It repeatedly warned against any blurring of distinctions between ordained and nonor- dained ministry and stressed the temporary and provisional nature of any pastoral decisions \\; TRUCK AND TRAILER SALES STATE HWY 57 EVANSVILLE, IN 47732 , to permit lay people perform functions ordinarily entrusted to the ordained. The NFPC and NALM leaders criticized a tone of lay-ordained competition they said they found in the Vatican instruction. "While it is necessary that the role of ordained ministers and lay ministers be clear, it has not been our experience that ordained ministry has been threatened by the ministry of ecclesial lay min- isters," they wrote. "The presumption that lay ministry detracts from or lessens the status of priestly ministry is not borne out by the testimony and experience of priests," they added. "In the same way neither detraction nor competition are part of the vision of ecclesial lay ministers. Where effective col- laborative ministry takes place, both lay and ordained ministers are heartened in their service to God's people." The letter highlighted five themes that emerged from the meeting of the two executive boards: $CHNELLVILLE FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 -- "We share a mutual com- mitment to the Lord as we rve the church in our ministries. -- "The ministerial priesthood is enlivened by lay ministry and is in no way climinished by the presence of lay ministers. "Ecclesial lay ministry is an integral and necessary call to serve God in the church. We do not view it as a temporary solution but as the work of the Holy Spirit. "Both lay ministry and ordained ministry are vocations to serve the needs of all the faith- ful, both in the church and in the world. This mutuality of mis- sion and participation, ordained and lay, is the face of the church in our age. "Only by way of collabora- tion can the mission of all the baptized come to fruition." The growing importance of professional nonordained min- istry in the U.S. church is indi- cated by the recent introduction of a new catego D, "profession- al ministry personnel," in the diocesan statistics of the Official Catholic Directory, an annual publication listing all U.S. Catholic dioceses, parishes, reli- gious orders and other official organizations and institutions. In 1996, the first year the cate- go D" was introduced, U.S. dioce- ses rported a total of 18,101 laity and nonordained relibous  4,33 brothers, 6,989 sisters and 10,679 lay ministers  employed as professional ministry persomeL In 1998 the dioceses reported a total of 21,724 professional ministry personnel  401 brothers, 6,211 sisters and 15,112 lay ministers. The numbers in the Official Catholic Directory are not entirely reliable since a number of dioceses supplied no figures at all and a few dioceses report- ed every woman religious liv- ing in the diocese, including those who were in teaching or retired, as part of their profes- sional ministry corps. But an independent study last year by the National Pas- toral Life Center found that there were more than 26,000 paid lay ministers workhng full time or part time in the U.S. Catholic Church. The NALM is a professional organization of more than 1,200 members that promotes the development of Catholic lay ministry: ]'he NFPC represents 115 diocesan and religious councils of priests with a com- bined membership of about 26,000 priests.