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Evansville, Indiana
September 30, 1994     The Message
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September 30, 1994

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2 Se i The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Wisconsin bishops set norms for priestless Su MADISON, Wis. (CNS) -- In a joint letter the Catholic bish- ops of Wisconsin have outlined norms for parish worship when no priest is available for Mass. They stressed that "the cele- bration of Mass is the central event of the church's worship." No alternative, even a service with Communion, can ever be "an adequate substitute," they said. But the "acute shortage of priests" in Wisconsin is not likely to disappear in the near future, making it necessary to address the issue, they said. The 4,000-word letter, "Mak- ing Do With Less: Sunday Wor- ship Without a Priest," was re- leased Sept. 22 by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference. While addressed primarily to the question of Sunday wor- ship, the letter also dealt with weekday worship without a priest -- a phenomenon that it suggested will actually be more common in many parishes. "When a priest cannot be present for a weekday Mass, it is strongly encouraged that a Liturgy of the Word or morn- ing or evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours be cele- brated, followed by the distrib- ution of holy Communion and led by a deacon or lay leader," the bishops wrote. Their letter, the first joint ef- fort by a state conference.of bishops on the question of wor- was the result of nearly two see themselves as supplying a years of study by the liturgy of- need in the absence of the rices of Wisconsin's five dioceses, priest and not as performing a In an accompanying news stable and new ministry in the release, the conference said church." that "on any given Sunday -- Giving priority to perma- fewer than a dozen of Wiscon- nent deacons as leaders ofwor- sin's nearly 1,000 Roman ship without a priest. Catholic churches are without -- Specific steps to assure a priest to celebrate the Eu- that people do not begin to con- charist." fuse services of prayer and It said that while such ser- Communion with the Mass. vices are still relatively rare -- Keeping such services overall, they are more common aligned with liturgical year in rural areas, and especially and feasts of the church, using in the Diocese of Superior in either a Liturgy of the Word or the northwest part of the state, a celebration of morning or That diocese has only 77 evening prayer from the priests serving 115 parishes, it Liturgy of the Hours for the said. first part of the celebration. "In The bishops urged people to both cases the distribution of encourage and pray for voca- holy Communion is added." tions to ease the priest short- -- Assuring that "celebra- age. tions without a priest are not But they said that even to be held if Mass has been or when Mass is not possible on a is to be celebrated in that same Sunday, "it is most important church on that same day, in- that you, the faithful, gather cluding the anticipated Mass as a community and worship on Saturday evening." together. Keeping Sunday holy The bishops said the guide- is still an important value." line against Mass and alterna- The guidelinescalledfor: tive services in the same u Training for lay leaders of church on the same weekend is prayer. "the mind of the church" Procedures in each dio- spelled out in the Vatican's cese establishing the role of "Directory for Sunday Celebra- bishop and the pastor or parish tions in the Absence of the administrator in designating Priest." lay leaders. "It may be difficult to retain -- Limited terms for those this ideal if the scarcity of selected as lay leaders. "It is priests increases. Many important that all such leaders parishes in our cities are so ship in the absence of a priest, I . M&S I Fnre & Safety J EoqeUipyeaC nc.. Complete pro-engineered packages for you to build. Free instruction books and MILLER & MILLER VERYTRussLOWRAFTERsPRICES . "Funeral Pro-Planning Excellent Prices-Any Size to 80' Since 1940" OVERHEAD DOORS 424-9274 Hundreds in Stock Nobody Beatm Our Prices METAL ROOFING Over 29,OOO Sq. In Stock Any Length Cut To inch BEST PRICES AROUND DEALERS WANTED DAVIESS CO. METAL Hyw. 50 E., Cannelburg. 4 rni. E, Montgomery, 812-295-4299 II I Our goal isn't just to make you a better student. It's to make you a better person. Call The Experts 80 Years Of Experience! Marian Heights'college-preparatory program offers a superior Christian-based education dedicated to developing the whole perwn. To find out more, call Kathy Kostelic at 812-367-1431 or 1-800-467-4MHA. 0  t-IGrrs ACaDF_5 FERDINAND, INDIANA large that all the faithful sim- ply cannot gather at one cele- bration," they said. "The point that this regula- tion makes," they wrote, "is that the impression should not be given that parishioners are being offered a choice between the Mass or some other ser- vice." They said each diocese will set out its own more detailed rules for qualifications, selec- tion and training of lay leaders and the conduct of services in the absence of a priest. When a parish faces a situa- tion in which it will not have a priest available occasionally or regularly, the bishops said that it will be up to the local bishop, after consultation, to deter- mine if parishioners should travel to a nearby parish for services or "remain as a wor- shiping community with a dea- con or lay leader of prayer." "If the bishop decides that the integrity of your parish is to be maintained in the expec- tation of a permanent priest pastor, then the travel is not present obligation of (when it is not parish) is not said. "It is recommendel bishops in the stron possible that those of: fected participate in prayer service is order to bring the your parish gether on Saturday Sunday to bear you are a faith they wrote. :/ The conference news said that in addition tO ing a common practice across the bishops' joint help parish leaders when visitors, priestless prayer se place of Mass, have about the propriety of service or its form or HOLY LAND PILq Feb. 11-20, 1995 led by Rev. William A. Traylor, Our Lady of Mercy Waterloo, Belgium, "Our pilgrimage will provide many ties for all of us to gain a deeper insight the Bible. We will be able to see the and walk to ways of where the Bible hap. pened. Our hearing and reading of the God will be forever changed. Together, let walk in Faith. Let us go on Pilgrimage. Father Traylor, also a staff member of The American College of Louvain in Belgiu served several parishes in Evansville. vites you to join .him and his Belgian pa ioners to travel in Faith to a place of the Land of the Old and New Testaments. COST OF THE PILGRIMAGE IS $1,750 person from CHICAGO on SABENA AIR- LINES (Domestic airfare from Evansville to Chicago will be negotiated at a later date added to this cost). COST INCLUDES: Roundtrip on SABENA AIRLINES from Tel Aviv via Brussels 3 nights Nof Ginossar Hotel on the Sea of 4 nights National Palace Hotel in Jerusalem 1 night Grand Hotel Waterloo in Brussels Breakfast and dinner throughout; all sightseeint with a licensed, English speaking guide. NOT INCLUDED: Lunches, tips, domestic airfare For a brochure, please call: l] BIBLICA LOURNEYS 1-800-645-0298 or write us at: 61 Main Street Southampton, NY 11968