Just a reminder, this Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, the 10am Solemn High Mass will be celebrated by Monsignor Gilles Wach, founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Canon Michael Stein will preach. After Mass, there will be a reception in honor of Monsignor Wach in the church hall. Canon Stein will also give a brief presentation on the Institute’s missions in Gabon, Africa.
Rather than post any hurried initial reactions, I will try to digest this and offer some thoughts in the next few days. Yet I wanted to post this right away for readers’ benefit. His Grace has established a framework for his “Alive in Christ” Catholic schools initiative, and the write-up below is from the St. Louis Review:
Objective 1: Develop and implement benchmarks for achieving excellence in academics and faith formation in all parish and archdiocesan schools. Adopt standards that require parishes and schools to be both fully and authentically Catholic in their religious instruction and spiritual formation and fully and authentically professional in their academic instruction — in accordance with “best practices” in education today.
Objective 2: Provide pastors and school administrators with guidelines and assistance with effective marketing and enrollment management in order to “fill the empty seats.”
Objective 3: Promote collaboration among all parish, archdiocesan and private Catholic schools. Work with Catholic universities located in the Archdiocese to design and implement a unified, holistic approach to Catholic identity and excellence in academic instruction and spiritual formation from preschool through elementary, secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate Catholic education.
Objective 4: Engage in proactive pastoral planning on a deanery basis to strengthen parishes and schools and to promote collaboration and consolidation as appropriate.
Objective 5: Strengthen adult faith formation, lay ministry formation, youth and young adult ministries.
Chairperson — Msgr. John Unger
Curia resource agencies: Catholic Education Office (lead agent), Catholic Youth Apostolate
Goal 2: Evangelization
Objective 1: Sponsor an archdiocesan-wide evangelization program that will engage all parishes, schools and archdiocesan agencies in outreach to Catholics who are no longer active and others who seek to know more about the Catholic faith.
Objective 2: Coordinate marketing and community relations for the Archdiocese, parishes and schools.
Objective 3: Conduct a multi-year Catholic Identity Awareness Campaign designed to raise awareness and encourage appropriate pride in Catholic identity.
Objective 4: Provide outreach programs for our parents after a child is baptized to welcome them into the parish community, offer resources for the education and faith formation of their preschool children and reserve a place for them in the parish school.
Objective 5: Establish pilot parishes that are dedicated to being centers of excellence in education and faith formation of adults, young adults, youth and children. Develop pilot programs and share the results with all parishes in the Archdiocese.
Chairperson — Msgr. James Callahan
Curia resource agencies: Paul VI Institute (lead agent), Apostolic Services
Objective 1: Renew our commitment to helping poor children and youth in all 11 counties of our Archdiocese break the cycle of poverty and reach their full potential by providing access to Catholic schools through scholarships and other forms of tuition assistance wherever possible.
Objective 2: Establish new governance models and funding structures for Mission Schools — elementary and secondary schools that primarily serve the poor and that depend on non-traditional funding sources.
Objective 3: Address tensions that exist in our communities, and our Church, based on race and class divisions. Develop and implement training programs for pastors, principals/school administrators, board members who work in mission schools or who serve large numbers of students from poor families and/or families from diverse ethnic, racial or social backgrounds.
Objective 4: Work with civic and business leaders in all 11 counties, but especially in St. Louis city, to advocate for the educational needs of all children, especially the poor, and to build collaborative programs that cut across traditional private, public and parochial divisions.
Objective 5: Work with the Missouri Catholic Conference and other advocacy groups to proactively seek government assistance for families who choose a Catholic school education or other forms of non-government schooling.
Chairperson — Father Jeff Vomund
Curia resource agencies: Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation (lead agent), Catholic Education Office, Catholic CharitiesGoal 4: Stewardship
Objective 1: Offer strategic planning and assistance in governance, leadership development, organizational management and financial planning to all pastors, school administrators and agency directors.
Objective 2: Establish a Catholic Foundation for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to coordinate archdiocesan fundraising and develop new endowment funds for tuition assistance and other priority needs. Plan and implement an archdiocesan-wide capital campaign for the benefit of individual parishes and schools (sensitive to diverse regional and cultural needs); increase significantly the archdiocesan funds available to support mission schools and parishes and schools with financial needs.
Objective 3: Increase the current education assessment for all parishes to provide additional funds for tuition assistance and grants to schools. Develop formulas and assessment policies that are fair and equitable but that provide the minimum funds necessary to stabilize the current system and allow for positive growth and change.
Objective 4: Review current tuition rates in elementary and high schools and provide pastors and school administrators with guidelines for establishing programs that gradually implement tuition charges based on the true “cost to educate” children in our schools and families’ ability to pay their proportionate share of their children’s education.
Objective 5: Use the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation to provide tuition assistance grants to families (based on demonstrated need) from any parish or school in the Archdiocese. Develop guidelines for application, analysis and awarding of tuition assistance grants.
Chairperson — Msgr. Greg Mikesch
Curia resource agencies: Office of Pastoral Planning (lead agent), Office of Stewardship and Development, Finance Office, Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, Catholic Education Office
Flush with success at foisting human cloning and abortion funding on Missouri taxpayers, noted toilet paper critic Sheryl Crow must have gotten to the mayor of Omaha– he wants the Feds to tax toilet paper:
Mayor Jim Suttle went to Washington Tuesday flush with ideas for how federal officials could help cities like Omaha pay for multibillion-dollar sewer projects.
Among the items on his brainstorming list: a proposal for a 10-cent federal tax on every roll of toilet paper you buy.
Based on the four-pack price for Charmin double rolls Tuesday at a midtown Hy-Vee, such a tax would add more than 10 percent to the per-roll price, pushing it over a buck.
The idea came from a failed 2009 House measure by an Oregon congressman to help cities and the environment.
I hope that idea goes quickly down the drain. It’s amazing how these politicians cling to the climate change fraud. Funny, though– no mention of Crow in the article; her name’s been wiped clean off.
Today we begin to anticipate the joys of tomorrow’s great feast of the Incarnation of Our Lord. The great messenger of God, the herald of salvation, the comforter of Our Lord in Gethsemane– the Archangel Gabriel– is honored today. The traditional calendar of the Church sets March 24 as his feast, giving him, like St. Michael and St. Raphael, his own day instead of mashing them together in a lumpenfest later in the year.
A friend passed along the above item (click to enlarge) as a response to the Yog[i] Bear Stations of the Cross over at Wash U. A different kind of spiritual experience, perhaps.
As an aside, I have always loved the image of Our Lord’s crucifixion shown in this photo. The original is by Velazquez, and is one of the favorite paintings of my wife and me in the Museo del Prado. A reproduction of this painting hangs in the sanctuary of the Old Cathedral downtown, where we were married. I think it well depicts the sorrow and utter isolation of Christ as he hung, laden with our sins. A good Lenten image.