Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
August 12, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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August 12, 1990

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PAGE" 6' "ARKAI AS CA'I IOLIC AUGUST | 2, rram acce for Fall '90 study groups Little Rock - With the school year just around the corner, new study groups are forming around the diocese for the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program. With the first three groups that began the program in 1988 scheduled to receive their degrees this year, Greg Wolfe, diocesan director for Lay Minis- try, is looking to expand the program this fall. "I think we're at a point in our diocese with the Loyola Program where we can begin building on our success," Wolfe said. "We'll graduate about thirty people in 1990, and we have another twenty people half way through. I believe that their satisfaction with the program will help sell it to a whole new group of people." The Loyola Program is organized around learning groups which meet for 10 weeks, three hours per week. The groups must have 10 participants to start the 10-course program and a simple ma- jority of the participants must be Master's students. Tuition for Master's students is $370 per course and $240 for non-credit participants. A small number of partial scholarships is available from the diocese through the generosity of the St.Joseph's Education Fund in Pine Bluff. The Loyola Program is designed both for the volunteer or paid church worker, and for people who see their ministry primarily focused on work, family, and day-to-day living. Currently, Arkansas participants in- clude lawyers, nurses, teachers, real es- tate agents, engineers, secretaries, and doctors. There are mothers who stay home with their children, retirees, as well as volunteer religious education teachers and coordinators, youth ministers, scrip- ture study leaders, and some parish and diocesan staff members. Wolfe added, "We also have one priest, one permanent deacon, and one woman religious in the program." Students typically spend from 4 to 8 hours preparing for each session and have papers and other assignments due for each course. The groups are led by a local facilitator trained by Loyola while papers are sent to New Orleans for grading. "This fall," Wolfe said, "I'm fairly con- fident we'll get another group that will meet at St.John's Catholic Center in Little Rock. What really excites me though is that, in addition to our existing groups in Fort Smith and Pocahontas, I think there is a good possibility we'll get groups started in some new areas of the diocese." A Northw.est Arkansas group would be one of the new groups. Hoping to draw from places like Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista and Fayetteville, Deacon Dan Daily from Fayetteville is planning to lead the group. Anyone in- terested in this group should contact Daily at 521-4536. In South Arkansas, Sr. Teresa Daly, D.C. (phone: 855-8991) is the local con- tact person. Sr. Daly lives in Hamburg and has already attended the 5-day facilitator training. She hopes to draw from the area and is considering starting a group made up entirely of non-credit participants. Anyone in the Little Rock area or else- where in the diocese should contact Wolfe at: Diocese of Little Rock, Lay Ministry Office, 2500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207, (664-0340). The deadline for applying for Septem- ber classes is Friday, August 31st. Bishop gives offertory collection thumbs down Chicago (U.S. Catholic)- Would Catholic parishes raise more money if they stopped taking up collections at Mass? Yes, says Bishop William McManus in an interview in the August edition of U.S. Catholic, published in Chicago by the Claretians. McManus, a consultant to the Na- tional Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Stewardship, says that Catholics are laboring under the mis- conception that they're giving to God during the Offertory "when they're actually paying for the heat and fights and salaries of the parish staff." This money is payment due on services rendered, says McManus, and "it's hardly related to religion." That's why he supports separating the collection from the liturgy. McManus, retired bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, IN, advocates a weekly or monthly payment that is mailed in or dropped off as an alternative to the collection basket. Or, as his colleague Rev. Andrew Greeley suggests, the payment could even be made using a credit card. Whatever the means, the distinction between charity and justice should be made, says McManus. "What should happen at the Offer- tory is that everyone, from age 3 to 103, should give alms," says McManus. Gifts such as food and clothing for the poor could be brought up to the altar in a procession. And the money collected for the Church should be excluded from this activity. Pastors are concerned that discon- tinuing the collection would stop the Other members of the Church are freeloaders, says McManus. These people don't give a dime, yet take advantage of the Church's good grace. money from coming in altogether. But the way things are now, says McManus, the $5 a week contribution just isn't cutting it. People haven't increased their donations enough to meet rising costs. McManus says the Church incurs Ther'ese Wilson Favors By Rev. Warren Harvey contains five of the issues addressed the National BiackCatholic Plan. To proceed toward the next gress is saying to the Catholic in America that African-America Catholics are strangers and sc no longer. Favors pointed out that "if the in the Church are not on the way us, then the people in the Church in the way....We have pitched a in the ground toward the New lem, a shovel that says of each portion of ground that is removed 0 shoveled out.., let the people of claim our blackness and claim our let the people of God tell our story it may be told the wrong way...God do anything with you unless you who you are..." The result of the flection Day" was to select two of five issues which were of particular terest and concern for can Catholics in the Diocese of Rock. These issues, voted on in groups, are: 1) The North Little Rock - St. Augustine Church was the setting for about 100 African-American Catholics for a "Re- flection Day" recently. The purpoze of the day was to help black Catholics in Arkansas begin the process leading to the National Black Catholic Congress VII in 1992. Therese Wilson Favors, Coordinator of Elementary and Family Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD, gave the keynote address. Favors served as Planning Coordinator for the 1987 National Black Catholic Congress, the first such Congress held since 1894. From 198%89, she served as Director of the Congress. Favors pointed out that the Catholic Church in America in general, and black Catholics in particular, are somewhere between lightning and thunder. rhe lightning has struck, and the rain is pouring down, and we are just waiting for the thunder," she said. This first "Reflection Day" provided an opportunity for the Church in the African-American community in Ar- kansas to consider the Lineamenta from the national office of the National Black Catholic Congress. This Lineamenta ...let the people of claim our blackness claim our story... Family, and 2) Consciousness These two selections will be sent to National Black Catholic Congress in Baltimore. Bishop Andrew J. McDonald celebrant and homilist at the Liturgy, and spent the day with participants. He led the a Commissioning Ceremony in he challenged those in attendance "go out into the highways byways ..... to share all that and heard today... [and to] work gently with leaders of your community, to raise up the dreams visions of this day." The day was dedicated to the of Sr. Thea Bowman, a who dedicated her life to the cause the Church in the community. A second "Reflection Day" will next summer to select the the 1992 National Black Catholic gress. many expenses aside from rising utility bills. In response to parishioners' needs, the Church has increased its ministry. Now a local parish has at least three full-time ministers on staff. There are many services available to assist mem- bers with dae most important moments in family and Church life. And the greatest benefit, says McManus, is the celebration of the Eucharist and a superb ministry of the Word. McManus says all this takes time and money. He listed a number of reasons why members don't pay their way. He says some Catholics are disappointed in the Church's stand on certain issues, such as birth control. Younger Catholics say they don't get anything out of the Mass. This alienation has caused a drop in attendance, affecting the money a parish takes in. Other members Church are freeloaders, These people don't give a dimel ' advantage of the Church's good And, he said, there's a people who object to their money to poorer parishes. McManus told U.S. Catholic pastors can motivate their member give more by becoming more to parishioners' needs and services in an enthusiastic way. must create a sense of community there is sharing, celebration and Church leaders should be the drop money in the basket each day. Financial statements should prepared to keep parishioners of where the funds are going.