Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
May 19, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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May 19, 1991

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PAGE 8 ARKANSAS CA'I1-K)HC MAY 19, 1991 Behind priest shortage m "Is the naming of bishops a vehicle to "Shortage," frompage 1 that they no longer have time for other National group urges get one mind-set firmly entrenched in our sidestep the issue, forms of pastoral ministry and community Church or is it a means to help all the people "At a lime when there is such a dramatic leadership. discussion of issues of God to grow?" he asked. "Should not the declinein the number of priests, andwhen * Concern that lack of access to priests, primary group of consultants in a diocese - the equal dignity of women is becoming so whether in small parishes without a resi- the presbyteral council - have something to important, we cannot long delay an honest dent priest or in huge, impersonal parishes By Jerry Orlando, FL (CNS)- The growing priest shortage is one of the top concerns facing U S. priests today, said Rev.Joseph C. Brink, president of the National Federation of Priests' Councils, at the federation's annual convention in Orlando. The real issue is not the shortage itself but its impact on the fight of people "to the regular celebration of the Eucharist in their community," he said. "Is that right more important to maintain than the discipline of celibacy?" he asked. "Will our bishops ever openly discuss the real issues concern- ing our declining numbers?" Delivering his final presidential address at the end of three years as the federation's president, Brink also said three other issues seriously affect the morale of priests and should be addressed by priests' councils and the federation. He said the three issues were priests' re- lationships with one another and their bishop, and the role of an effective priests' council in a diocese; bureaucracy in the Church; and Catholic schools. In connection with the relationship of priests with their bishop, he suggested that the federation should address the issue of selection of bishops and the role of priests' councils in that process. say about this?" Of diocesan bureaucracy he said, "We have overused the business model in trying to update our Church. We are Church, not a corporation." "After awhile, pastors feel as though they are working for the diocesan offices instead of the other way around," he said. He called Catholic schools a special prob- lem because lay people regularly place them "at or near the top of their list of wants," but pastors must confront the questions of financing, with ~laool budgets often higher than the parish budget for everything else. In visits to dioceses across the countly over the past three years, Brink said, he found those four issues - ~hools, bureau- cracy, the diocesan body of priests and the role of Sunday Eucharist in Church life- frequent topics of discussion in rectories and in parking lots after meetings. In view of their evident importance to priests, he said, "I am surprised at how few times I have heard these issues discussed at meetings of presbyteral councils." May: that Christians serve God and neighbor as generously as Mary did. Pope John Paul II General Prayer Intention and thorough discussion of the ordination with too few priests, will lead many Catho- of women," it said. tics to leave the Church and join other According to the report, "almost all" the churches. priests who responded to the national study The report praised the grcm h in lay rain- felt that the topics of ordaining women and istlies and lay involvement in the Church married men "need to be fully discussed" but said many priests feel that their sacra- and felt "frustrated that they seem to be mental ministry will suffer if it is separated subjects forbidden even to be discussed by from pastoral ministry and community lead- the hierarchy." ership. The report called the question of who "While one can be an effective pastoral can be ordained "certainly the most conlro- minister without being a sacramental min- versial theological issue that must be ad- ister, one cannot be an effective sacrarnen- dressed" in connection with the priest short- tal minister without also being a pastoral age. minister in that community," the report said. Brink warned the convention delegates q_eaderstfip is one of the key words, if that the' report's discussion of women's not the key word, to describe the role of ordination "is the issue that's going to be the ordained priest in a parish .... He must picked up by the media." He urged the be part and parcel of the life of that parish priests to call attention to the wider range if he is truly to lead," it said. of issues in Church life addressed by the report. Rev. Denis M. Herron of Brooklyn, NY, Among those issues were: chair of the committee that wrote the re- * Problems of morale and "burn-out" port, said the document was not meant to among priests as smaller numbers try to be the final word on the issues of priestess serve growing sacramental and pastoral parishes and the shortage of priests, but a needs, source of further reflection and discussion. * A concem that there is growing confu- He said the most important issue in it sion among Catholics over the difference was that of parishes without access to the between a Sunday Communion service and Eucharist on Sundays. the celebration of the Eucharist. Acceptance of that situation is"something * Fear that priests ~ lose touch with totally new, radically different," he said. ''We their people as they devote more and more are in danger of losing what it means to be time to sacramental ministry to the point a eucharistic Church." JOE 842-2431 England, AR Pocahontas Little Rock- Msgr.James O'Connell has announced Burse contributions received during January through March. Following are the name of each burse, recent contri- butions and each burse total. Rev. Raymond Rossi: $250/$2,485. Sullivan Family:. $600/$10,150. Frank and Sarah Thomas: $90/$5,265. Rim W'dlett: $772.57/$4,512.66 Frederick Worm: $100/$2,520. Unassigned Burst~ $150/$71,423.15. Rev. John F_. Barnes: $30/$1,030. New Burse established in memory of the Rev. Joseph Biltz: $50/$450. Martin and Alice Walshe family: $200. Rev. Paul Bujarski: $25/$4,950. Total Contributions: $8,722.57 Mgsr. Patrick Horan: $400/$18,525. Thomas Michael Horam $750/$1,990. All contributions are invested and only Msgr. LouisJanesko: $5,020/$10,020.the interest earned is used for the educa- Rev. F_xtward McCormick: $50/$16,270. lion of young men studying for the priest- Bishop AndrewJ. McDonald (in memoryhood for the Diocese. Contributions may of Msgr. John Lynem): $50/$6,620. be sent to: St.John's Seminary, Endowment Rev. Walter Rajmund: $100/$125. Funds c/o Msgr. James E. O Connell, Di- Rer. Leo Riedmueller (in memory of rector, P.O. Box 7565, Little Rock, 72217- Marie Boeckman): $85/$6,195. 7565. Charter a Bus! Any size bus available, from school bus to luxury air conditioned coaches. Houston-Bigelow Bus Lines Arrow Coach Lines 663-6002 or toll free 1-800-632-3679 2715 W. lOth St. Little Rock BLUE HILL GARAGE & WRECKER Inc. 851-1575 10505 Conway Hwy., NLR E ? IF et A, th le el L 0 llq C( al ST fe ot IT A P r b o d s! 17 I7 a ( t J J