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 Bishop McDonald has called for the laity to collaborate energetical- ly in every apostolic missionary undertaking in their local parish. the diocese to serve as pastor of a Parish, he has called upon the laity thin that parish to take a more active role in assisting that pastor hi all aspects of parish life. In those CaSes where he has not been able to provide a priest, Bishop cDonald has looked to deacons, religious and laity to serve as PaStoral administrators to assist hirrl in ministering to the needs of the faithful. In recent years, as it became 0re and more difficult to recruit Priests, Bishop McDonald tumed to the office of lay ministry to develop a program to train and certify Selected lay men and women, reli- gious and deacons to serve as pas- toral administrators. The bishop's vision for this program is that it produces qualified men and women to serve in those parishes and missions without a resident pastor. These pastoral administra- tors are to collaborate with the non-resident pastors in minister- ing to the laity in the local communities. The first class for pastoral administrators began in October 1995, with 25 candidates selected from parishes and missions throughout the diocese. Twenty of the candidates successfully com- pleted the program and are now certified by the bishop to serve as pastoral administrators. There are currently four men (three deacons and one layman) and three women religious serving as pastoral admin- istrators for 10 parishes and mis- sions within the diocese. This number will increase over the next year or so as some of the newly certified pastoral administrators are appointed by the bishop. Perhaps, though, the ultimate measure of his love and support for the laity in the diocese is bishop McDonald's openness to all the faithful. Many leaders claim to have an "open door" policy, but I seriously doubt that any other leader's door is as open, or as wel- coming, as our bishop's. No matter what the issue may be, he is avail- able to each and every Catholic in the diocese. He truly cares for the sheep entrusted to his care and he takes his responsibility as our shepherd seriously. Deacon Bo McAllister is direc- tor of the Diocese of Li#Ie Rock Lay Ministry Offwe. October 24, 1998 With the growing shortage of priests in the diocese, Bishop McDonald has looked more and more to the laity for assistance. 67