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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
September 16, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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September 16, 1990

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Some time ago, an acquaintance of mine asked, "Why don't you get in- volved in real priestly work, like run- ning a parish?" Initially, I responded that I enjoyed what I was doing. Later, after pondering his question some more, I realized he had made a value judgement about me. The im- plication I was left with was m if I didn't fit his idea of what a priest should do, then I was not a real priest in his eyes. To say that I was angry is to minimize my feelings. I was livid. My friend tried to shove me into his mold of "priest," rather than looking at what gifts and talents I was currently using for the sake of the kingdom. He saw pries@ ministry through a narrow vision of sacramental utilitari- anism. Lost was a wider vision of priest as evangelizer, prophet, communicator or teacher. Many priests whose principal minis- try fails to fit into a primarily sacramen- tal role are just as vitally bringing the gospel of Jesus to the world as are par- ish.priests. They're simply using their differing gifts in differing ways. We are blessed to have many priests, both diocesan and religious, whose forte is not parish ministry [such as the three Franciscan evangelists in McGehee]. While several parishes are experi- encing the pain of loss from a resident pastor, it may seem extravagant, thoughtless or even an invitation to "evasion of priestly duty" to encourage non-parish ministry for priests. Perhaps the real problem is., not that it is "un-Catholic," but rather that we find it hard to change our ideas of who and what a priest should be. It is unfair to burden others with our definitions of who and what they must be, or else... I seem to remember an itinerant rabbi who once had the same problem in his day. JMS ARKANSAS CATHOLIC t publ~hed 48 tim== a year, for $12 per year, by tho C~holl ~ of Llttb Rod~ ~ Calho(ic, Inc., L~oO0 N. Tyle St., Little Rod~ AR 72207 (501) 664-0340 [FAX (501) 664-g075]. PUBUSHER: Molt Rev. AndrewJ. McDonald, Bishop ilANAGING EDITOR: Rev. Albert& Schneider EDITOR : Deborah Hlllle~l kDYERT]SlNG / MARKETING DIRECTOR : Ron M. Hall ;ROOUCTION MANAGER: Rev. Jim Schmz ::IRCULATION MANAGER : Agnes Knltflg l"hl~ class ~o ~ at Little Flock, AR. POSTMASTER : Send change of address to: ARKAHSAS CATHOUC, PO BOX 7417, Lfl-rLE ROCK, AR 72217. Busk r~ hours are 8:30 to 4, Monday - Friday. Clo~d on weel~, Holy ~, =rid National ~. Offk:N are located In Moffle Hall, St. John's Center, 2500 N. Tyler, Little Rock, AR. 72207. rim lib ino I~IB ill im lib iBi ill i~lg i "1 To eub=erlbe, ==end coupon with -- I check for $12 to the above eddreu. I I I I Name I I I I Address I I I i,,Padsh -- .,j mllBI i illlili i PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC SEPIT.MBER 16, 1990 lag fever is rampant just now. The years of practicing this. issue here is sacerdotal flagism - installing ~[~IP(~)~]'~ The u.s. Catholic bishops acI no~ edge the national flag as a permanent part of this contradiction. Their document, Eng" [ the environment of worship in the local - . . .. .... ronraent and Art in Catho~c Worship, stat~ Catholic church. KeY. Lmmanuea Lffl&lrles MC~ Although the art and decoration of the [ l The placing of a U.S. flag inside a Catho- liturgical space will be that of the local I [ lic church was not a widespread practice delivered with a pre-Vatican II preciseness, culture, identifying symbols of particul~/[ until World War II. Various mechanisms was always the same: "This is a Catholic cultures, groups or nations are not appall were then employed by the government to church." priate as permanent parts of the liturgiOl/i "encourage the public display of fags. It The Catholic ~ environment. While such symbols r ght/[ i was not just the u.s. government that Mass is 100 percent ~ be used for a particular occasion or h01i,/I i latched onto this ploy to heat up and catholic. It knows day, they should not regularly constitute all I divinize nationalistic emotions during the no national or po- part of the environment of comm /I , war years, but it was only U.S. Catholicism litical boundaries. EiJ ~ ~ prayer." " II I that acquiesced so totally in displaying the I flag as part of the permanent church at- I mosphere. In the majority of countries, this was looked upon as so utterly inappropri- [ ate the governments were simply unable ( [to finesse this piece of wartime propa- [ ganda. [ After the war, in countries outside the I [ U.S., ~e~a w~ rapidly removed by I [ A national flag in a Catho- [lic church is as out of place I [as a tabernacle in a city hall. ,, [ Church authorities. In the U.S., however, [sacerdotal flagism paraded on into the [ postwar years without missing a step, until ] Vatican 1I. This is not to say it ever be- Symbolically speaking, a national fla~, in merit of a Catholic church, /t ] came universal or was ever mandated by a Catholic church is as out of place as atab- Eucharistic presence of Our lord is ce!e][ ] Church authorities, ernacle in a city hall A large number of the brated and reserved for the whole ChurC ][ values a secular flag glorifies are not those (ReprinUd by permission, National Car . l[ ] In the parish in which I lived during " . . th0" ( ] World War II and after- a parish of 17,000 the gospel proclaims. For example, Jesus lie Reporter, PO Box 419281, Kansas ~"(|l ] souls- there was never a flag. When the taught the love of enemies modeled on His MO, 64141. Rev. Emmanuel Ourdes McCa~ti [ monsignor was asked why, his answer, example, and no state comes within light- liv a uortu in Brockton, MA.) [ a me s person often tries endlessly to explain Life is such a perilous jou Y' ,fl the extenuating circumstances leading most of us make mistakes, stumble to the mistake. Business is booming in fail continuously. We live with a f, ir [ li " small claims courts, where oarties to a regular battering of our self-image' [ s &ntoine Bo x .o ...... 00 , disoute are allowed to tell their stories Few of us much into adult " g" t~ in their own way without havin some knowledge a 2[ put Why is it so important to set theour limitations, some justified fea# [ c relative of mine recently was in a difficult situation. He is a manager record straight publicly when a person failure, some doubts about the gte$[ i O 1 to ~v~ in a government feels aggrieved. I m not trained t ing of success and our abil'ty [ position and was answer that question from the stand- it. [ told that budget point of psychology. But I do know a a " " cutbacks made it little about human nature. See Boseo, n h necessary for him [ to terminate sev- eral employees. It was a sad time for him, but what made it extremely pain- ful was the reac- ...... tion of one man who simply could not believe he was being let go for lack of money. He "knows" that the underlying problem is "jealousy" 06 the part of the bosses. Unfortunately, the situation com- pletely absorbs him. He talks constantly about it, repeating his side of the story to anyone who will listen. Most of us probably have known people in a similar state who have been treated in a way they perceive to be unfair. Neighbors who have grievances against each other go to other neigh- bors to tell their side of the story. Couples in troubled marriages often do the same. In families, such accounts of "my side of the story" are commonplace. When an office employee is repri- manded for making a mistake, the I