Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998
 

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IMPLEMENTING VATICAN II 7 000 Our Full and Active Participation- Row Bishop McDonald encouraged his flock to get involved in the Church By Deacon Bo McAllister eginning with the call to the laity to a "full and active participation" in liturgical Celebrations as a matter of "right and duty by reason of their bap- tism,, in the Constitution on the SaCred Liturgy, the documents of Vatican II clearly call all the faith- fUl to a more active participation in all aspects of Church life. Specifically, Vatican II called the laity to serve in nearly all aSPects of parish and diocesan life !0al planning and participation in liNrgical celebrations, to serving as members of consultative bodies at the parish and diocesan level, to evangelization in the world. In his 26 years as the leader of our diocese, Bishop McDonald has always supported and encouraged the laity to full and active partici- pation in the life of the Church. Quoting from the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity in an article about the goals of parish councils published in The Guardian (Arkansas Catholic) in 1972, Bishop McDonald called for the laity "to collaborate energeti- cally in every apostolic missionary undertaking" in their local parish. He also stated that "the laity should accustom themselves to working in the parish in close union with their priests..:' Since that time Bishop McDonald has continued to encourage and empower the laity In his 26years as the leader of our diocese, Bishop McDonald has always supported and encouraged the laity to full and active partici- pation in the life of the Church. to fulfill leadership roles legiti- mately open to them. Today, almost every parish and mission in the diocese has lay men and women serving as extraordinary ministers of Communion and lec- tors within Mass, taking Communion to the sick and shut- ins, serving on parish pastoral and finance councils, teaching in our schools and CCD programs, and filling leadership roles on the diocesan staff. In the late 1970s, he initiated the diaconate formation program to prepare men for ordination to the diaconate. In the mid-1990s Rome approved the use of females as altar servers. Bishop McDonald immediately issued instructions permitting parishes to allow females to serve as altar servers within the diocese. With the growing shortage of priests within the diocese, Bishop McDonald has looked more and more to the laity for assistance. Whenever he has been successful in recruiting a priest from outside 65